Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kenya, Uganda sued over rights violations

By ZEPHANIA UBWANI, zubwani@tz.nationmedia.com

Posted  Tuesday, May 31 2011 at 20:57

Kenya and Uganda may be charged over human rights violations and breaching of Constitution following a suit filed before the East African Court of Justice.
The two governments will face the wrath of the East African Law Society, the premier bar association in the region, which filed two cases each against Kampala and Nairobi.
The suit was presented to the Office of the court’s registrar in Arusha by the Vice President of the regional law body Mr Aggrey Mwamu shortly before 5 pm on Tuesday.
The Ugandan government was accused of gross violations of human rights in their ‘walk to work’ protests in April this year, leading to deaths, injuries and destruction of property.
The law society alleged Ugandan security forces were behind arbitrary arrests and killing of innocent people “in violation of the very basic tenets of human rights”.
Briefing the media before the case was formally filed at the court in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mwamu said the regional law society was empowered to raise its voice over human rights violations.
The East African Community was not spared either with its secretary-general being accused of silence in the face of the deteriorating situation in Uganda.
“As the atrocities were committed in Uganda, neither the secretary-general nor any of the five members of the community, raised concern. This is against the treaty,” he said.
The suit also included what the law society described as unconstitutional extradition of Kenyan citizens to Uganda to face charges over the July 2010 terror attack in Kampala.
The law society officials charged that the Kenyans were handed over to the Ugandan authorities without proper legal procedures. (READ: Uganda terror case referred to regional court)
“This was also inconsistent with the Kenya Constitution. The community boss did nothing to remind the partner states on the anomaly,” he said.
After the case has been filed, summonses would be served to the two governments within 14 days and a hearing date set.
The filing of the case on Tuesday followed concerns raised by the regional law body, which operates from Arusha, over the recent political violence in Uganda.

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