Police is currently holding four members of the Torture Survivors Movement Uganda activists who were arrested yesterday as they marched to petition the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, about the escalating torture cases of Ugandans working abroad.
According to Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigire, the four suspects, Richard Ssebuganda, John Bosco Sserunkumma, Brian Ssemanda, and Moses Sserugo are being held at Central Police Station and are facing charges of inciting violence.
Upon the arrests, the leader of National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, took to his social media to reprimand law enforcers for handling the situation in such a manner.
“I condemn the violent arrest of young activists who went to Parliament to deliver a petition and protest against the continuing violation of the rights of Ugandan immigrant workers,” he tweeted.
I condemn the violent arrest of young activists who went to Parliament to deliver a Petition and protest against the continuing violation of the rights of Ugandan immigrant workers. Listen to the pleas of Ugandans stranded abroad, intead of brutalising those speaking about it! pic.twitter.com/AT35mfn22h
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) September 5, 2022
He asked authorities to focus on sourcing help for Ugandans trapped in bad conditions abroad in lieu of assaulting Ugandans in the country who are addressing the issue.
“Listen to pleas of Ugandans stranded abroad, instead of brutalising those speaking about it,” he added.
The same activists launched a protest last month against the delayed return of the body of Caroline Kyomuhanga, a migrant worker who passed on in June while on duty in Saudi Arabia.
They carried an empty coffin to the Saudi Arabia embassy in Kampala. One suspect was apprehended and the coffin seized.
According to Aggrey Kibenge, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, the increasing number of Ugandans being tortured abroad is due to illegal externalisation.
Out of about 200,000 Ugandans in Saudi Arabia, only 140,000 of them are taken by legal companies. The rest are susceptible to danger and it is hard for authorities to track them down.