Press Statement on Police Search at Reach A Hand Uganda

(Kampala/April 17th,2021). The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda (NCHRD-U) has learnt of events at Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) with concern. Yesterday, Uganda Police Force undertook a search operation at RAHU offices at about 03:46pm in Kasanga. The Police officers at the scene presented a search warrant obtained from the Chief Magistrate of Makindye court. Documents and equipment belonging to the organisation are alleged to have been taken by the investigating officers.

“It’s impressive that Uganda Police Force has applied it’s mind to the law by seeking a court order, as opposed to a raid without any due process. It’s our sincere prayer that the working documents and office equipment are returned as soon as possible once their investigations are concluded to enable RAHU continue with its legitimate business.” states Robert R Kirenga Executive Director, NCHRD-U

The search is premised on a General Inquiry file GEF:79/2021, Money laundering and subversive activities. While RAHU in its official statement has committed to cooperate fully with the authorities, we implore the authorities to exercise discretion, transparency and act judiciously while handling this matter. The disruptive events at RAHU come at the backdrop of similar events at National NGO Forum and Uganda Women’s Network in the recent past that point to narrowing civic space.