Three Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers will be tried publicly for the alleged torture of a suspected motorcycle thief.
Since Tuesday, a video has been circulating on social media showing the suspect, identified as Nelson Omon, a resident of Lagot Village, Larakaraka Parish in Pubec Parish, Mucwini East Sub County being tortured by five men in UPDF uniform. Others were not in full military uniform.
The video shows the suspect with both hands tied behind his back, with ropes. His legs were also tied to a window with a rope and he was hanging in the air. For more than 5 minutes, the victim was being lashed by two men in civilian clothing and three in UPDF uniform.
In the video, the suspect pleads with his tormenters in Acholi to let him explain what happened. He calls one of his torturers, only identified as Okuri, who is said to be the GISO of Mucwini East Sub-County to untie and take him to the garage where he reportedly stole the motorcycle.
Unfortunately, he continued to be flogged. One of his torturers threatened that he would be left to stay in that position overnight.
Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF spokesperson, said the suspect was arrested by the LC3 of Mucwini East Sub-county, together with some members of the community. But when the RDC was informed, he ordered them not to beat the suspect.
Kulayigye said the LC3, however, took the suspect to the Lagot military detach, where the detach commander took part in torturing the suspect.
Kulayigye said the soldiers have been arrested and will appear in court late this week or early next week.
He warned the UPDF against participating in mob justice and committing crimes.
Available information indicates that the soldiers are in Banabana military barracks in Madi Opei Sub-county, Lamwo district.
The RDC of Kitgum district, Jimmy Segawa Ebil, noted in a WhatsApp message last evening, that whoever is found culpable of mistreating the suspect will be punished.
“We have a list of whoever was involved, and we are moving in to pick all of them. I understand the rage this has caused. It is unacceptable and intolerable anywhere, not least in a government facility,” noted.