By Sania Babirye
The 49 National Unity platform party members who were charged remanded to both Kitalya and Kigo government prisons by the general court martial on charges of illegal possession of four fire arm magazines have petitioned the high court seeking for their immediate release.
Through their lawyer Katana Benjamin of Lukwago and company advocates, the applicants have sued the attorney general, the chief of the Ugandan Defense forces,commissioner general Uganda prisons and the Inspector general of police for continuous violation of their rights .
These are accusing the security agencies of among other things holding them beyond the mandatory 48 hours without being charged and in un-gazatted detention centers including Kasijjagirwa and Makindye military barracks, defying a Masaka order to grant them bail,and denying them medical attention of their choices despite having visible signs of torture.
They also claim that their trial at both Masaka chief magistrate court and the the general court martial and denial to access their lawyers, next of kin and medical doctors of their choices also violates their rights guaranteed in constitution of Uganda.
These now want court to order for their immediate release and also declare that their trial both at Masaka and Makindye army court is illegal and was in violation of their constitutional rights including to a fair hearing before the army court since they were also denied access to their lawyers while being charged and remanded.
They also want court to declare that the actions of the head of Uganda prisons to defy the orders of the Masaka chief magistrate to release them after giving them bail and instead hand them to the UPDF leading to their further illegal detention at Makindye military barracks was a violation of their rights and freedoms.
The NUP members want court to declare that the procedure leading to the detention was irregular, unlawful and marred by gross human rights violation specifically the right to a fair hearing and freedom from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and also issue a permanent injunction restraining the respondents from further trial and prosecution on the alleged illegal charges.
They have also asked the court to order to stop the said security agencies from having their officers from removing their name tags from their uniforms and car number plates for easy identification of the violators of Human rights and the DPP to commence investigations into the said officers.