Improved treatment of persons in detention.

  1. Improved treatment of persons in detention.

During the period under review, the research team reported a significant improvement in the treatment of persons in detention as a result of FHRI’s penal reform advocacy work. For instance, in Butuntumula prison (Luweero district), Sentema prison (Wakiso district), Mpigi and Butoolo prisons (Mpigi district) prisons, renovations of the prison wards was completed and a security wall fence erected to buffer security. The construction of the security wall put an end to the restriction of the prisoners’ right to movement on account of security. The water system in these prisons has been upgraded to lavatories as opposed to the bucket systems. Staff accommodation has also been improved with more uni-ports constructed.[1] Earning schemes for inmates engaging in prison labour have been established in 10 prisons out of the 10 monitored by FHRI in 2014. These are Mityana, Butuntumula, Masaka main, Kabasanda, Butoolo, Nkozi, Wakyato, Koboko, Sentema and Masaka saza prisons.

Case studies:

  • Case study I: Replacement of the bucket system with lavatories.

Problem

On 10th September 2014, FHRI visited Sentema prison. There was a strong odor emanating from the prison cells. A number of inmates complained of stomach complications and were on treatment for infections on account of the continued use of the bucket system. The prison conditions were life threatening. Unfortunately, although lavatories had been constructed, they were not functional.

Intervention

A series of meetings were held between FHRI and UPS on this issue. As a member of the JLOS HRAWG, FHRI raised this problem during the meetings. Similarly, as part of the UN Anti- Torture day celebrations, FHRI proactively called on government to address the life threatening conditions in Sentema prison.[2] During these interventions, UPS and JLOS agreed to address the problem.

Result

During FHRI’s subsequent visit to Sentema prison on 19th May 2015, FHRI noted that the bucket system had been replaced with functional lavatories. Inmates noted an improvement in prison conditions and better aerated wards.

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[1]For instance currently Butuntunmula prison has 10 Uni-ports as opposed to 8 in 2013 while Sentema prison had 3 in 2013 and currently has 8.

[2]FHRI appeared on Channel 44 Television on 19th June 2015, WBS TV on 20th June 2015 and Pearl FM on 21st June 2015.

About Us

The Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) is an independent, non-governmental, non-partisan and not-for-profit human rights advocacy organization established in December 1991. It seeks to remove impediments to democratic development and meaningful enjoyment of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the 1995 Uganda Constitution and other internationally recognized human rights instruments. .

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