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To the Ugandan Government

C The NRM and the "movement" structures should be considered a political organization and regulated in the same fashion as all other political organizations or parties: they should not be exempted from regulations governing political activity. The government should not fund the NRM, its secretariat, the aligned "movement" structures, or the political campaigns of NRM candidates unless equivalent funding is provided to other political organizations. A strict division should be made between the functioning of the government and the NRM.

C Amend the constitution to remove articles 269, 270, and all other constitutional restrictions on political rights which are inconsistent with international human rights law.

C Respect the right to form political parties without undue government interference, and to engage in political party activities such as, for example, the holding of delegate conferences and political rallies, the sponsoring of candidates for public office, and issuing of party membership cards. Immediately lift all legal and administrative obstacles hindering the registration and functioning of existing and new political parties.

C Revise the draft Political Organizations Bill to make it consistent with international human rights standards. Regulations imposed on political parties should guarantee the rights of free expression and association, and ensure the rights of all Ugandans to participate in their own governance. Regulation should not undermine the ability of political parties to function effectively.

C Respect the right to freedom of association and assembly and halt arbitrary police actions to ban or disperse peaceful public meetings and demonstrations. Desist using charges such as treason, sedition, "promoting sectarianism," and "holding a meeting without a permit" to criminalize and punish peaceful political activity or dissent.

C Recognize the right to form and operate nongovernmental organizations, and refrain from using the licensing process to intimidate or punish nongovernmental organizations. Lift legal and administrative obstacles hindering the registration of nongovernmental organizations.

C Immediately end state funding and other forms of official support for the NRM's chaka-mchaka political education programs, which advance the view that political parties are responsible for Uganda's past troubles and serve to justify violations of civil and political rights in Uganda.

C Cease harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists, and amend legislation governing the media to bring it in line with international norms guaranteeing freedom of expression.

C Provide government, police, army (UPDF) and other officials with special training on human rights standards and protection. Institute procedures that ensure the effective investigation and criminal prosecution of violations of human rights, including violations of the political rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly.

C Release or bring promptly to trial all persons detained on treason or other security related charges who have been in detention for longer than the constitutionally permitted period of 360 days. Revise the constitutional limit on pre-trial detention, which currently allows for the detention on remand for a period up to 360 days in capital cases.

C All cases of treason suspects should be promptly reviewed to ensure that sufficient evidence exists to justify detention.

C Cease using treason charges as a holding charge for those arbitrarily detained in areas in which rebels are active. Undertake a prompt and comprehensive review of national legislation governing treason, terrorism, and other public order charges to ensure compliance with international human rights standards. In particular:

- no arrests should take place without sufficient evidence. The current practice of "arrest now, investigate later," is unacceptable.

-the use of confessions as a basis for pre-trial detention should be limited to confessions freely made in the presence of counsel.

-suspects should in general be granted bail and a fair and timely trial. Pre-trial detention should be kept to a minimum.

-the independence of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, including from interference by the army, should be guaranteed.

To the Uganda Human Rights Commission

C In addition to its current monitoring work, the Uganda Human Rights Commission should also closely monitor and regularly report on violations of the right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. The Human Rights Commission should become a vigorous advocate for the implementation of these internationally recognized rights.

To the International Community

C The international community should use clear benchmarks to advocate and measure progress on human rights, including democratic participation in governance. These benchmarks should be applied consistently. The benchmarks used to measure progress on respect for basic human rights in Uganda should include:

- lifting of the legal and administrative restrictions on non-NRM political activity;

- extension of guarantees of freedom of assembly, association, and expression to political parties, nongovernmental organizations, and civil society in general;

- improvement in the human rights conduct of the army (UPDF), police and other security agencies. In particular, a cessation of torture and the indiscriminate bringing of security-related charges such as "treason" to prolong arbitrary detention; and,

- separation of the NRM political organization and aligned partisan structures from the government of Uganda, and cessation of public funding for NRM-aligned bodies such as the movement structures.

C Diplomatic representatives should meet regularly with NGO, media, and other civil society representatives to discuss human rights problems. Diplomatic representatives should be encouraged to publicly denounce abuses of human rights in Uganda, including abuses of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Respect for human rights should be a constant theme of discussionbetween the international community and the Ugandan government, in both public and private interaction.

C Financial assistance, particularly balance of payments support, should be tied to the Ugandan government's achievement of clear and firm human rights benchmarks. While conditionality is an important human rights instrument, the international community should also use dialogue and positive measures to encourage change and improvement in human rights observance. Humanitarian and development aid should remain unconditional. Poverty alleviation should be furthered and encouraged.

C If aid is given, it should include assistance for the development of a pluralistic and independent civil society, a vibrant NGO community and human rights groups with a monitoring capacity, an independent and accountable press, an independent judiciary with the capacity to function effectively, and a robust and independent human rights commission.

C Provide human rights training as an integral component of all capacity building and training projects involving the Ugandan police, the UPDF or other security organizations. Such training should include a strong component designed to stop the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment as an interrogation technique. Human rights training should be incorporated into all internationally sponsored military training programs in Uganda.

To the Commonwealth and its Member States

C Monitor respect for human rights in Uganda, in particular respect for the political rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Issue statements condemning violations of human rights in Uganda, and urge the Ugandan government to adopt the necessary reforms to meet its international human rights obligations.

C Call upon the Commonwealth Secretariat to carry out a study of violations of human rights associated with the movement system in Uganda, and to propose appropriate action by the Commonwealth nations on this issue.

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