December 2, 2020

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IRCU condemns electoral violence following arrest of presidential candidates

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Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), is an indigenous, national faith-based organization uniting efforts of religious institutions to jointly address issues of common concern. IRCU Council of Presidents issue press statement on the current electoral violence in the country.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Inter-religious council of Uganda has condemned the acts of violence that followed the arrest of presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi and Patrick Oboi yesterday. They have demanded the release of all those arrested and asked security forces to be impartial.

In a statement read by Archbishops Steven Kazimba, Cyprian Kizito and Mufti Sheikh Ramadhan Mubaje, the religious leaders said it is is incumbent upon us to express our concern in the current political injustices in the country and to provide guidance especially in such a critical period in our country.

We are deeply concerned by the violent events that occurred in our country yesterday where the whole word witnessed brutal arrests of political candidates; Robert Kyagulanyi and Amuriat Oboi.

We call upon the electoral commission and the various security organs to adhere to the human rights principals enshrined in the national objectives and practices while being law abiding and following our national constitution.

We noted with concern that the police were in breach of the COVID-19 SOPs and of Article 21(3) that stipulates that the police shall be patriotic, professional, disciplined, competent and productive. The army has breached Article 209 that states that the army will cooperate with civilian authority in emergency situations and in cases of natural disaster like COVID-19.

While we imagine the dilemma faced by the security agencies, we call for actions that honor the rights and dignity of all Ugandans irrespective of their political affiliations. We urge all men and women in uniform to uphold the Ugandan constitution and all relevant laws and ought to treat all citizens of Uganda fairly and equally irrespective of their political affiliation.

We call for the immediate release of all people who were arrested yesterday. In the event that they committed crimes, they should be presented to the courts of law as the law stipulates.

Article 61 of the constitution mandates the electoral commission to ensure free and fair elections. As religious leaders, we expect the EC to take charge of the electoral process including the security arrangements of all political candidates and ensure an enabling environment.

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