Ugandan Lawyers say 100 Rwandans are detained

As public accusations and counter accusations continue to imperil the already sour relationship between Rwanda and Uganda, two lawyers of alleged imprisoned Rwandan nationals have said human rights are being sacrificed at the altar of politics.

Speaking at a recent press conference in Kampala, lawyers of detained Rwandan nationals say all rights of their clients have been violated by the government of Uganda.

They allege that as many as 100 ordinary Rwandan traders, and businesspeople engaged in export and import trade and others working with faith-based organizations have been illegally detained by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Internal Security Organization (ISO) on undisclosed charges.

Many have been illegally deported to Rwanda while others have had to endure inhumane treatment. Gawaya Tegulle and Aboneka Michael, the lawyers of the detainees, who were joined by the Secretary of Uganda Law Society, Francis Harimwomugasho, said the time has come for the international community to get involved in order to arrest the situation, which they said is spiralling out of control.

Tegulle said as lawyers of Rwandan detainees, they were dismayed by the statement made by Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign affairs minister on May 17. The minister said the only Rwandans arrested in Uganda are those found on the wrong side of the law.

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