BY APN REPORTER
High court has awarded Jaspa Natukunda, a resident of Rukungiri district Shillings 270 million as compensation for torture by police.
Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe ordered the Attorney General to compensate Natukunda in his judgment delivered in Kabale High court on Wednesday.Natukunda sued the Attorney General and Christopher Ruhunde, the former Rukungiri District Police Commander for torture during a peaceful protest over the delayed repair of Mitaano Bridge on September, 11th 2012. In his suit, Natukunda accused police of torturing him during a procession to hand over their petition to the former Rukungiri Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Harriet Nakamya over the sorry state of the bridge.
He also claimed that police dragged him to Rukungiri Police station where they continued torturing him and sprayed his eyes and mouth with pepper spray. Natukunda explained that because of the torture he ended up in Nyakibale hospital in Rukungiri municipality where doctors discovered that he had suffered grave damage and referred him to Nsambya Hospital in Kampala.
A medical report issued by Nsambya Hospital on May 24th, 2014 shows that Natukunda suffered multiple blunt trauma in the lumbo-sacral region, blunt chest trauma, limbs trauma and acute urinary retention. He uses a trans- urethral catheterization and suffers post- traumatic disorder, which requires psychiatric attention.
In his judgment read by Samuel Emokor, the Kabale High Court Deputy Registrar, Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe noted that the dispersal of a peaceful demonstration by police was an infringement on the plaintiff’s freedom to assemble and associate with others in execution of their civic responsibilities.
He also argued that the arrest and detention of the plaintiff was a violation of his rights to liberty guaranteed by article 22 of the constitution. Justice Kazibwe ordered the Attorney General to pay Natukunda Shillings 270 million as compensation for the inhuman and degrading treatment he was subjected to.
He said the money will help the torture victim to get medical attention in case he continues suffering complications in the chest resulting from the torture. The complainant’s lawyer, Ladislaus Kiiza Rwakafuuzi from Rwakafuzi and Company Advocates welcomed the judgment, saying it will teach security officers especially police to respect the law.
The state attorney, Betty Gafabusa Karungi who represented the former Rukungiri District Police Commander wasn’t in court during the judgment.