Democracy on Trial Report Launch!” Human Rights Defenders working in the context of elections in Uganda

Hon. Lyandro Komakech officially Launches the report on behalf of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

(Kampala, October 11th 2019) The Coalition today comes with final validated findings on the realization/enjoyment of the rights to peaceful Assembly, Association and Expression by Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) during the electoral cycle in Uganda. This research has been made possible through the support of the Democratic Governance Facility in the framework of an 18 month project with the coalition termed as “Protection of Ugandan Human Rights Defenders!” We thank the DGF for this kind support.

“In helping to start the process of scenario building for actors in the electoral process we have come up with this research, said Robert Kirenga Executive Director NCHRD-U, thanks to the advocacy team at the coalition who have worked tirelessly with the technical support of the lead Researcher and Scholar Dr. Mayambala to generate this report.”

Robert Kirenga Executive Director NCHRD-U
Robert Kirenga Executive Director NCHRD-U addresses the press shortly after the report launch

Our research did cover 91 Human Rights Defenders spread across all the regions of this country with focus on electoral hotspots. Not only is it comprised of the thoughts of HRDs but also state actors and institutions such as the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda Police Force.

HRDs continue to come under attack by state and non-state actors by being subjected to physical harassment, trumped up charges, intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and digital surveillance. This pattern is worrying and more so during the electoral cycle.

In the most recent by-election in Nebbi, four HRDs were arrested and held without any charges at a local police station. The purported crime was monitoring elections without clear accreditation cards from the Electoral Commission.

Democracy on Trial Report launch
The Chief Political Commissar of Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Brigadier Henry Matsiko after signing on the dummy report.

We must continuously do research and have facts, we must document and monitor these trends. Ultimately this will enrich our evidence based advocacy including addressing impunity and justice in the near future.

We have made specific recommendations in this research towards His Excellency the President of Uganda, Parliament of Uganda, Electoral Commission, Uganda Communications Commission, Uganda Police Force, Uganda People’s Defence Forces and Development Partners.

For the copy of the report, download it here : Democracy on Trial Report

For more information contact:

Robert R Kirenga +256-787-498-984

Edward Serucaca Jnr +256-772-484-504