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Startseite Urgent Actions 2010 09 Lawyer and activist held incommunicado Lawyer released, activist still detained
FI 205/10-1
Uganda
Abgeschlossen am 1. November 2010

Lawyer released, activist still detained

AI-Index: AFR 59/011/2010

Kenyan lawyer Mbugua Mureithi was released from police custody in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, on 18 September and was immediately deported to Kenya. Human rights activist Al-Amin Kimathi continues to be held incommunicado without charge or access to legal representation.

Mbugua Mureithi and Al-Amin Kimathi were arrested by Ugandan police and immigration officials on arrival in Entebbe, in southern Uganda, on 15 September. The two men had travelled to Uganda from Kenya to represent at least three Kenyans arrested in connection with the 11 July 2010 bombings in Kampala.

Al-Amin Kimathi, of the Kenyan human rights organization, the Muslim Human Rights Forum, is being held incommunicado at the Ugandan police’s Rapid Response Unit Headquarters in Kireka, Kampala. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Amnesty International fears that his arrest and continued detention is due to his work as a legal representative of some of the people charged in relation to the July bombings.

Due to their arrest and detention, the two men have not had a chance to meet with their clients who are charged with offences including murder and terrorism, punishable by death under Ugandan law. The court case involving their clients has continued in their absence.

Additional Information

On 11 July 2010, over 76 people were killed and hundreds injured as a result of bombings by unknown people at two different public venues in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Following criminal investigations in Uganda and Kenya, in the last few weeks over 30 people of different nationalities, including Ugandan, Kenyan and Somali, have been arrested in connection with the bombings and charged with criminal offences, including murder, terrorism and attempted murder. The trial process remains ongoing.

Amnesty International has documented the unlawful transfer of suspects from Kenya to Uganda, and the incommunicado detention and allegations of ill-treatment of a number of the suspects who all remain in detention. In addition, we are concerned about the impact that the intense publicity about alleged confessions may have on the fairness of the trials.

Amnesty International, the Uganda Human Rights Commission and local human rights organisations have, in the past, documented reports of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees at the hands of Uganda police officers.

The right to a fair trial, including the right to legal assistance is provided for in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, both of which Uganda is party. These rights are also provided for under Article 28 of the Ugandan Constitution.

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