Parliament has passed the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill 2021 prescribing a maximum death penalty for the convicted offenders.
The private member’s Bill introduced by the Ayivu County Member of Parliament, Benard Atiku, with the objective to provide for fines and penalties for the offence of human sacrifice and for related matters, was debated and passed on Tuesday May 4, 2021.
Atiku noted in the Bill that human sacrifice is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies, parents, child rights activists and the general public.
“Records from the Uganda Police Force show that human sacrifice cases have been steadily increasing for the last several years. Reports of incidences of human sacrifice, especially of children, have been rampant in Uganda since the 1990s and have continued to escalate,” he said.
Human sacrifice offence is committed when one mutilates, or causes the death of another person, for the purpose of performing or furthering a ritual.
The Act also says all the perpetrators of human sacrifice be imprisoned for life and those who injure the victims in the act of sacrifice will be liable to imprisonment for ten years.
The Act indicates that a person who unlawfully has in his or her possession human body parts, unlawfully uses human body parts in medicine or concoction, whether for sale associated with human sacrifice, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to life imprisonment.
The Act also provides for the death penalty for persons that finance other persons to commit offences of human sacrifice.
The Minister of State for planning, David Bahati, noted that Human Sacrifice is a creeping human violation which is a great danger to human life and a lucrative business for some heartless people.
“Human sacrifice anywhere is a danger to the human race. We condemn it and support legislation to curb it,” said Bahati.
Adding: “Criminals involved in Sacrificing and trafficking of human beings created in the image of God are shamefully reaping USD30m annually. Up to 2.4m people worldwide are affected by this evil and dark practice.”
Interestingly, the Jonam County MP, Ongiertho Emmanuel, had proposed during the debate that the perpetrators of human sacrifice should be charged in military martial and sentenced to death by firing squad if found guilty.
“The perpetrators of human sacrifice should be tried in court martial and put to firing squad if found guilty in order for it to serve as a deterrent to people who might want to get involved in these brutal acts,” he said.
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