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Uganda: Idi Amin Dies Without Facing Justice

Idi Amin, who died Saturday, should have faced justice for his crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

"It´s too bad that death caught up with Idi Amin before justice did," said Reed Brody, director of special prosecutions at Human Rights Watch. "Amin was responsible for widespread murder and the expulsion of his country's Asian community, and yet he was able to escape reckoning.”

Background on Idi Amin

On taking power in Uganda in 1971, Idi Amin created several new security organizations that reported directly to him, including the Public Safety Unit and the State Research Bureau. Along with the Military Police, these security forces killed approximately 10,000 Ugandans in Amin's first year. Over the next few years, many more Ugandans fell prey to Amin's henchmen, sought sanctuary in neighboring countries, or went into hiding in Uganda. A report by the New York City Bar Association's Committee on International Human Rights estimated the number of victims of Amin's reign of terror between 100,000 and 500,000. Many prominent Ugandans lost their lives during Amin's regime, including Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka and Anglican archbishop Janani Luwuum.

In 1972, Amin ordered the expulsion of Uganda's 70,000 citizens of Asian origin and the expropriation of their extensive property holdings, including 5,655 firms, factories, and farms and U.S. $400 million in personal goods.

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