COVID-19: Arrested during curfew isn’t criminal charge; police violates humans rights

How are curfew victims of the horrific acts of police brutality and unnecessary arrests during the lockdown doing? We have seen the news on LDUs, UPDF, Police arresting citizens, pregnant women were handcuffed, innocent people begging the police to release them because they were caught up headed home from survival work

The arrests are still happening even when the lockdown was relaxed, those who are arrested are not sure when they are coming out of prison, their families are worried and looking for them, some being shot

Police had been called to release curfew non-violent citizens but still, police claim that these people defied the president’s directives as instructed and they have to face the court, yes, what does the constitution say? Maybe we can talk about this next time?

If you keenly paid attention to what’s going on in the country, you have seen the entire unspeakable situation that people are yearning for justice and watching such news makes some of us absolutely sick. Seeing people in prison and not sure when justice is going to prevail, it is really heartbreaking

The inhumane treatment of these non-violent people is the epitome of deplorable and we need to see justice, as it very well should

Sitting here in the ghetto, as a blogger, I could not let this atrocity go unspoken but I’m going to be honest, knowing how to talk about something of such magnitude – I feel incredibly unqualified to even broach the topic

It is arrogant to think that there’s possibly anything I could add of value to the conversation. I do not know what it is like to be in a prison without any crime. I do not know what it is like to be governed by the elite who don’t care about peasants for a better word. Nor do I know what it is like to be an LDU, police officer or an army officer and put my life on the line, serving the community every day

Yes, we can pray and put offering thoughts and prayers on social media just seems empty and completely out of touch, on 14th, June, NTV Uganda produced a story about those who have been arrested unlawfully during curfew time, it was an insightful story but the question is; is there anyone who cares especially those in power?

The greed of some of the parliamentarians is laughable. We’ve got our politicians bickering over wearing masks while in the prisons-there is a heartbreaking story of women, men, girls seeking for justice and not being talked about 

Let us not let these injustices be swept under the rug, or silenced, or forgotten, or hidden away because it matters and people who got arrested unlawful deserve justice

The only way to make these injustices not be in vain is to learn from them. To use it as a learning opportunity to do better. To use it as a turning point to resolve to heal divisions brought about by security officers.

And one way to do that is to listen. Listen to those who have stories to tell. Hear their pain and injustice. Acknowledge what people have gone through. Because though you or I personally may not have experienced the bitterness of security officers sadly, that is not the case for everyone. 

The starting point, if we want to see justice together and change the status quo, is to listen to those it has impacted and hear the reality that is outside of your own. Because if we want to change, we have to have not only compassion, empathy, and a willing heart but also an awareness of the truth

Here is a report by NTV Uganda. 

Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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