High court orders police to produce detained Rwandan couple

The High court has ordered police to produce a Rwandan couple that has been in detention without trial since January this year.

Justice Lydia Mugambe of Civil Division, ordered the director of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that Claudine Uwineza and her husband Darius Kayobera be produced before court on April 24 with reasons as to why they have not yet been charged.

“A writ of habeas corpus is issued to the director CID Uganda Police to produce the applicants before Lady Justice Lydia Mugambe on  24th April 2019 at 11 am and show cause why they should not be released,” Mugambe’s order reads in part.

A writ of habeas corpus is a document requiring a person under arrest to be brought in court to secure his or her release unless lawful reasons are indicated for their detention. Uwineza and Kayobera were arrested on January 29, 2019 from Rubaga–Bakuli reportedly by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence operatives as they returned to their home.

Their lawyer Eron Kiiza who filed an application against security forces, says that ever since the couple was arrested, they have never been charged or produced in any court to show why they are being detained.

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Kiiza said that their children and relatives have since failed to talk to them and notes that there is urgent need to release them because they are diabetic. Kiiza on April 3 also wrote to the inspector general of police, Martins Okoth Ochola seeking to know the whereabouts of the couple but in vain.

According to the court documents presented by Brian Musota a representative of the solicitor general, the couple was arrested by the army for spying but was later handed over to police. In one of the documents signed by the joint chief of staff for the Defense Forces, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu says that they were arrested by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence on allegations of espionage.

“It was discovered that he [Kayobera] possessed both Rwandan and Ugandan national identification cards with different names and also his other status in Uganda was documented as a Congolese refugee,” Lt Gen Musanyufu writes in respect to both matters.

Musanyufu states that due to the complexity of the matter, the UPDF decided to send their file to police. The spokesperson of the CID Vincent Ssekatte said that he didn’t have any idea about the matter.

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