Home Investigation UHRC Releases Report on Missing NUP Supporters and Warns Against Unsubstantiated Claims

UHRC Releases Report on Missing NUP Supporters and Warns Against Unsubstantiated Claims

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uhrc releases report on missing nup supporters and warns against unsubstantiated claims
uhrc releases report on missing nup supporters and warns against unsubstantiated claims
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The Uganda Human Rights Commission’s Report on Missing NUP Supporters

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has published its findings regarding the investigation into the disappearance of National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters who were alleged to have been abducted by various security organizations.

During a press conference on Tuesday, UHRC Chairperson Mariam Wangadya revealed that between November 2022 and April 2023, they had received requests from the NUP Secretary General to investigate the disappearance of 30 of their supporters. According to the UHRC’s investigation, 12 of these individuals have been released and returned home, while 18 remain unaccounted for.

Wangadya explained that their findings indicate that 12 of the reported missing persons were arrested on suspicion of various offenses. Some were released on police bond or court bail, with some claiming to have been arrested by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and others by unidentified individuals.

According to UHRC officials, some of the alleged missing NUP members faced charges related to terrorism and property vandalism.

The report, however, points out that the whereabouts of the remaining 18 NUP supporters are unclear. Wangadya emphasized that the UHRC cannot definitively conclude whether these individuals were arrested by security agencies or not due to the lack of information provided by the NUP and the uncooperative stance of some of their relatives.

She further cautioned the NUP against declaring that their supporters were kidnapped by security agencies, citing the absence of concrete evidence to support such claims.

Wangadya also warned against NUP’s claims of torture against their supporters without providing accompanying evidence. She noted that while the NUP had previously reported allegations of torture to the commission, some supporters either failed to cooperate in providing additional evidence to substantiate their claims or changed their narratives significantly.

In some instances, individuals initially believed to be torture victims turned out to be victims of road accidents, casting doubt on the credibility of the complainants referred to the commission.

In response to the UHRC report, NUP Secretary General Lewis Rubongoya raised concerns about the prolonged detention of their supporters. He pointed out that all the detained persons, without exception, were held for extended periods, well beyond the legally prescribed 48-hour limit. Rubongoya expressed disappointment that the UHRC did not condemn or address this violation of citizens’ rights.

Rubongoya also highlighted the UHRC’s acknowledgment of the existence of ungazetted detention facilities where some of their supporters were allegedly held. He concluded by expressing the NUP’s determination to seek justice and accountability in light of the ongoing abductions and the growing list of missing persons.