17 UPDF, Police Officers Charge For Torture, Remanded
The 17 members of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) and police officers attached to the Field Force Unit filmed torturing 38 suspected commercial sex workers at Elegu border post in Amuru district today appeared before court charge with torture and remanded to jail.
The 17 were arrested on Sunday after pictures of the alleged torture incident went viral on social media and attracted the attention of security chiefs.
The 11 police officers appeared before the Gulu Chief Magistrate Court charged with 38 counts of aggravated torture contrary to section 4 and 5 of the prevention and prohibition of torture act of 2012 while the six army officers were to appear before the court-martial at the 4th Division Army Barracks in Gulu. Journalists were block from witnessing the proceedings at the barracks.
Court heard that the officers on April 2nd at Elegu Town Council in Amuru District, the accused intentionally inflicted severe pain or suffering on 38 victims for allegedly disobeying a curfew. However, they all pleaded not guilty.
The police officers include ASP Balenzi Richard aged 44, Sgt Musasizi Charles aged 39 Corporal Jacob Odong aged 34, PC Jaspar Okello aged 35, PC Augustine Opiyo aged 51, and PC Rubangakene Kenneth aged 30.
Others are PC Jimmy Okello aged 34, PC Opado Moses, aged 28, PC Byamukama Gerversio, aged 36, PC Bosco Okello, aged 31 and PC Businge Ronald, aged 32.
The police officers were remanded to Gulu central prisons until 7th of May when they will reappear in court.