During the FDC Youth League PRESS CONFERENCE of Thursday 12th, April 2012, we appealed to the State and in particular the Uganda Police Force and other Security Agencies to stop persecuting the youth in Uganda and henceforth release all the youth who are political prisoners within forty eight hours (48hrs) unconditionally.
The FDC Youth League noted with great concern that many youth have in the recent past and continue to be arrested, harassed, maimed and or killed by the NRM regime. Trumped up charges such as; inciting violence, murder, treason, illegal assembly have been preferred against the youth.
In September 2009 more than forty youth were killed and these among others included; Kauma Joseph, Nakazi Deborah, Nahumma Brenda, Katuma Richard, Kalamba Ronald, Kamoga Sula, Aliwo Abed, Nabakoza Christine, Bisso Steven, Ssango Kyobe, Ikongo Samuel, Mayanja Bruno, Bukenya Faisal, Mukwanga Kaziru, Benjamin Parnot Ateere, Batiibwe Badru, Muganga Huzair,Busulwa Hassan, Bwesigwa, Grace Sserunjogi, Joseph,Muganga Hakim, Kafuma Frank, Nampijja Jackie, Magembe Ali, Lukwago Sulaiti, Karungi Annet, Erimweya Mawanda, Nsereko Robert, Batibwe Abdullah, Nampijja Beatrice, Nahumma Brenda, Ngaba Moses. All these were aged between 2 – 35 years apart from Batiibwe Badru who was aged 39yrs. Many more youth have been killed at various incidences including one at Kasubi tombs, in Masaka, Kampala, Gulu, Jinja, Mbale and many other places.
Twenty seven youth (27) were arbitrarily arrested in 2009 and have spent three years in Luzira Prison for the last three years. Only four were released this week with no charges preferred against them.
On 21st March, 2012 nine youth were arrested and charged with the ‘murder’ of AIP Ariong John Michael. These are: Kayondo Mutwalib, Kavuma Robert, Kaija Harold, Nakitende Sharifah, Kirya Ismail, Nsubuga Malik, Ssebugwawo Muhammad and Hajji KakandeTwalib (Adult, not youth).Kakande was severely beaten and his health condition is dire.
This is political persecution because there is no way nine people can use one stone to kill one person. Besides the majority of them were actually arrested before the Ariong incident had occurred. Haji Kakande, in particular was doing his job, driving – as the official driver to Hon. Nabila Naggayi Ssempala, Kampala Woman MP. These youth are now languishing in prison. The Uganda Police Force’s Andrew Kaweesi has already announced that they had arrested and positively identified the alleged killer, who had confessed to the crime, giving his full names that were published in the media. If the confessed killer had already been arrested, what are the arrested persons still in jail? Why are they charged with murder?
On 12th April 2012, Nyanjura Doreen, Bagaya Ibrahim Kisubi, Kyeyune Moses and Mugabi Vicent, all Makerere University students were arrested when they attempted to launch their book; “IS THIS A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE” they were charged with illegal assembly. Nyanjura was remanded to Luzira up to 24th, April 2012. Hon. Kasibante Moses was also arrested on the same day and he is in Luzira on fake charges of incitement of violence. This tantamounts to political persecution, and injustice which can not be tolerated in this era.
Owing to the fact that our colleagues are being politically persecuted and the State has failed to respond to our appeal, we shall go ahead with our planned peaceful demonstration on 16th April 2012 by Marching to CPS, The Police Headquarters, CID headquarters and other selected Police stations across the country to express our dissatisfaction and demand for their freedom.
This is our right. And no one can deny it to us. NO amount of threats or blackmail will deter us from pursuing total freedom for all Ugandans, regardless of their political, religious or ethnic identity. Uganda belongs to all of us. Let no one make us squatters in our own land, because they hold state power, which they have usurped from the people.
We call upon the members of the Press, who are fellow victims of this perpetual blackmail, intimidation and harassment by the state, to remain firm to their commitment to inform Ugandans of all atrocities.
We call upon the religious leaders to intervene in this matter as a matter of urgency. We also appeal to civil society organisations to rally behind the call for a totally free Uganda, devoid of institutionalized corruption and harassment of those who stand for the truth and demand for justice and the unconditional release of political prisoners.
We hope that the international Community takes note of this dangerous trend of events in Uganda which, if not checked now, will result into instability in Uganda and the whole region. Diplomacy works better in stable societies. Foreign investment becomes profitable only in an environment of political stability.
Monday 16th April 2012 is the day to demand full compliance from the State to release all political prisoners listed above and all the others languishing in prison unconditionally.
Semalulu Kaaya Rajab
VICE CHAIRMAN FDC YOUTH LEAGUE – BUGANDA REGION
0704-16 77 11 / 0757-88 13 06
cc: Minister of Internal Affairs
cc: Inspector General of Police
cc: Director of public Prosecutions
cc: Chief Justice
cc: Speaker of Parliament
cc: Head of the Delegation, European Union
cc: British High Commissioner
cc: Ambassador of the United States of America
cc: Leader of Opposition
cc: All members of Parliament
cc: Arch Bishop Luke Orombi
cc: Arch Bishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga
cc: Supreme Mufti Sheikh Zubair Kayongo
cc: Arch Bishop Metropolitan Yonah Lwanga
cc: Dr Sserwadda Joseph
cc: Uganda Human Rights Commission
cc: Director of Public Prosecution