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Kawooya: Family of man in brutal security arrest allowed to access him

RIGHTS | Nine days after his brutal arrest, Yusuf Kawooya’s family was able to finally meet him on Tuesday afternoon at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka.

However, his lawyer were still barred from accessing the man whose manner of arrest by gun-toting security agents in civilian clothes left the country in shock.

Using Facebook, Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer, said Kawooya’s family will explain more about his condition during a media interface at a later date.

.“I met the security folks including the army spokesman and no one is willing to tell Kawooya, his family or me the reason for his arrest,” Opiyo said.

“The security folks are also unwilling to divulge the names of the people they charged before the Unit Disciplinary Committee or the sentence they were handed.”

Kawooya was brutally arrested by men brandishing AK47 assault rifles on Colville Street in the city centre last Thursday. The agents, from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, were in civilian clothes.

They repeatedly clobbered the hapless Kawooya, with one using the butt of his rifle to repeatedly hit Kawooya in the midrib (kidney region) before they dragged him onto a taxi that the operatives had come with.

Daily Monitor newspaper later reported that the taxi used in the arrest had fake number plate.

Kawooya’s brutal arrest caused public indignation since the incident was captured by Record TV camera and widely shared on social media before mainstream media picked it.

Exposed, the army moved to arrest what it said were the four men who molested Kawooya and promptly charged them at the military disciplinary court in Mbuya.

The men, whose identifies were not revealed, pleaded guilty and were sent to Makindye Military Barracks awaiting sentencing, the army said.

The men, according to the army, face charges ranging from brutal arrest to failure to follow standard
operating procedure, an offence that carries lesser punishment compared to either torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which Kawooya was subjected to at the time of arrest.

CMI turns away lawyers

The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, which has taken the responsibility of arresting Kawooya who has now been identified as Democratic Party (DP) activist, on Monday sent away lawyers representing him after they had made an appointment to see him at the CMI headquarters.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Opiyo said that as things stand, the dreaded Kireka facility is now divided into two sections. One section, the lawyer said, manned by police Criminal Investigations Department
(CID), and the other by the CMI under the command of a one Col Asiimwe.

Kawooya is in detention of the CMI section of the Kireka facility, Opiyo explained.

“We will continue to push for the release of Kawooya or for him to be charged in a competent court of law. We continue to demand that his tormentors be publicly identified so we know who was commanding them, so that they can all be charged in a competent court of law for their criminal acts,” Opiyo explained.

“The manner in which this matter is being handled points to an incompetent attempt to obfuscate
and suppress information about the rogue nature of the security agencies, obstruct justice and shield perpetrators and their commanders. These individuals work between CMI and the Police Flying Squad.”

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