By Ronaldo Kalangi
Lawyers representing a section of Rwandan nationals living in Uganda have accused security agencies, especially Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) of torturing, deporting, arresting and even taking money from Rwandans after threatening them with prolonged detention without trial.
While speaking to TheSpy Uganda reporter at Rock gardens on Wednesday, Counsel Eron Kiiza revealed that his clients like Chris Karemera and Rurangwa Emmanuel were deported to Rwanda by CMI after service of Habeas Corpus documents on them in August 2018.
“Since August 2017 to date, security forces especially the military and more so CMI have cultivated a habit of arresting some Rwandans in Uganda,detain them incommunicado in un-gazetted places like Makenke Military in Mbarara and Mbuya Military Barracks in Kampala among other illegal detention facilities until their relatives or friends raise the demanded ransom money,” he revealed.
He added that,”it has also become a habit to deport some of them such as the two above, and the five that were deported by CMI to Rwanda in January this year, steal their money including recently over UGX 150,000,000 (Uganda Shillings One Hundred Fifty Million Only) or 40 million Rwanda Francs from Rwamucyo Emmanuel”.
Counsel Eron narrated that Rwandans are detained beyond the 48 hours allowed by the constitution and some Habeas Corpus or mandatory release orders regarding suspects are disregarded with impunity as in the case of his clients like Rwamucyo Emmanuel & Rutayisire Augustine.
He said that when individual culprits are sued, they start blackmailing and threatening them until they are forced to withdraw the said cases. He sighted the example of the case of Rene Rutagungira.
He claimed that CMI always denies access to people seeking their loved ones detained in military facilities including their lawyers.
He mentioned one of the officers who have taken the lead in blocking lawyers from accessing Makindye Military Barracks to see their clients as Lt. Mwesigwa Micheal.
The lawyers said most of the investigations reveal nothing, the suspects are framed to have guns and rushed to court martial though they are civilians. The prominent examples of such framings by the military include Lyakeremye Claude, Rutayisire Augustine and Rwamucyo Emmanuel, the former is an ordinary boda boda rider while the other two are businessmen who were arrested in Mbarara.
The cases that go to court never end, given that there is no evidence against them, and this delayed justice not only kills justice. It is unconstitutional and a violation of their right to speedy and fair trial.
These wide spread injustices reflect unformatted pattern of how some Rwandans in Uganda are being harassed by sections of people in security apparatus.
Equally appalling is the disrespect of court orders. “The High Court for example ordered unconditional release of Rwamucyo and Rutayisire but that has not been done to date,” the observed.
The affected Rwandese appealed to CDF, Director of CMI Col.Kaka Bagyenda to ensure their officers refrain from torturing people and respect their fundamental human rights and court orders once served.