March 23, 2011

Violence Instead of Vigilance

Torture and Illegal Detention by Uganda’s Rapid Response Unit

To the President and Government of Uganda
To the Uganda Police Force, Particularly the Police Standards Unit and the Criminal Investigations Department of Police
To the Ugandan Judiciary
To the Parliament of Uganda
To the Uganda Human Rights Commission
To the United States, the United Kingdom, and Other Concerned Governments, Especially Development Partners in the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS)
To the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
I. Background
Operation Wembley
Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU)
Rapid Response Unit (RRU)
II. Applicable International and National Law
III. RRU Abuses
Extrajudicial Killings
The Killing of Frank Ssekanjako
The Killing of Henry Bakasamba
The Killings in Kyengera
Other Killings
Forced Confessions
Illegal and Incommunicado Detention
Theft of Suspects’ Property, Extortion, and Theft of Evidence
Public Parading of Criminal Suspects
Trials of Civilians before Military Courts
Opportunities to Address Abuses by Rapid Response Unit
Commitments to Address Abusive RRU Practices
The Role of the Police Standards Unit (PSU)
The Role of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)
Uganda’s Duty to Provide Lawyers to Defendants
Annex 1: Letter from HRW to Police
Annex 2: Police Letter to HRW