Simon Mulongo, a Peace & Security, and Organisational Management Expert and Political Mobiliser – Link Conflict Consultants (LICCO), says torture in some cases is necessary despite the worldwide condemnation of the act.
Mulongo was on Wednesday appearing on “NBS TV morning breeze” programme alongside lawyer, Asuman Basalirwa.
Basalirwa who was speaking against torture said the Nalufenya facility located in Jinja district is a detention centre but is not under prisons.
“Therefore people cannot be remanded there. Nalufenya is under police. People that have appeared before court should not be detained in there.”
Basalirwa’s assertion coincides with a move last year that saw the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, move the police Flying Squad Unit to Nalufenya.
Mulongo confirmed this saying Nalufenya is a government facility under police.
“Suspects that have appeared before the court can be detained there.”
According to Mulongo, there is no law barring the detention of suspects that have appeared before court in Nalufenya.
“We need to find out if there is a consensus between prisons and police on whether suspects are retained on certain terms.”
Basalirwa still insisted Nalufenya is not a gazetted prison. “I have been there, I can attest to it.”
He suggested that NBS television invites the spokesperson of the judiciary “because it looks like they have agreed to send people to ungazetted prisons”.
Mulongo was not concerned as such and even suggested that there are circumstances that call for the use of torture.
“We need to find ground to base our discussion of torture because there are circumstances that compel torture,” he said.
This prompted the show host, Mildred Tuhaise to inquire: “Is torture effected even at the expense of the human rights of people?”
“Yes. But terrorism calls for it,” Mulongo enthusiastically replied.
Intrigued, Tuhaise went on and asked: “Members of parliament suggested that Nalufenya detention centre should be closed. Is it effective?”
“No,” Mulongo answered, adding, “Torture is much more than what has been seen in Nalufenya. Police should be accessed on training and upholding the law.”
Shocked, Basalirwa reminded the security expert that Nalufenya is a place where people are tortured to death.
“I once accessed suspects that were detained for the murder of a sheikh. They came out with fresh wounds and some were limping. That is the reason why Nalufenya is inaccessible.”
He added: “My own brother was arrested and tortured to death in Nalufenya. His body was dumped in a mortuary. I picked my brother’s body and immediately buried like it is in the Muslim culture. I approached IGP with complaints. He asked us to exhume the body and carry out a post mortem. We did and the results showed torture.”
He said Kayihura told him there would be action taken to pin which officers did this. No feedback has been and he no longer picks Basalirwa’s calls.
According to Basalirwa, there is need to be transparent in the way suspects are detained. They should be given time to contact their families and lawyers, he suggested.
“Junior officers should equally have the courage to say no to a superior order that goes against human rights or calls for torture.”