The High Court in Kampala has rejected a request to hear a case demanding the unconditional release of 74 National Unity Platform Supporters arrested in the just concluded election campaigns.
Civil Division Judge Boniface Wamala yesterday rejected the request made by City Lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima requiring the court to hear the application during the lockdown.
Turyamusiima filed the case on Tuesday arguing that it is more than 120 days since the 74 people were arrested and that the Human Rights Enforcement Act provides that they can be released unconditionally from their detention if the trial has not commenced within that time.
However, when the lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo banned hearing of all cases with exception of those that require urgency.
Justice Wamala, says that if courts were to be open for hearing of cases like that one demanding for the release of suspects already in prison, given that there is limited manpower operating at 10 percent, the courts would be overwhelmed and it would water down the real cases that need to be handled with urgency. Lawyer Anthony Wameli says that he is not happy with the decision because the Judge using the COVID-19 lockdown situation to further suppress the rights of their clients in jail. Counsel Wameli speaking….