Fourteen Ugandan "terrorism" detainees freed after years

High Court Judge Ralph Ochan this week dismissed terrorism charges against eleven Buganda riots suspects first indicted in 2009.

Justice Ralph Ochan said in his ruling said that the police failed to provide any evidence that the suspects had participated in an act of terrorism and they were unabale to bring an exhibit of the burnt remains.

Initially, 25 men had been indicted on allegations that they burnt down Nateete Police Station in 2009 during a massive uprising that engulfed the city of Kampala after the Katikkiro (Premier of the Bugandan Kingdom), John Baptist Walusimbi, was blocked from going to Kayunga in Buegerere county to prepare for the visit of the Kabaka (King of the Buganda) in September 2009.

Ochan added that there had been violation of the suspects' rights when the police had detained them beyond the 48 hours provide by the constitution.

Ochan ordered the prison to release the 11 suspects, including Nsubuga Kamada, Meddie Nsubuga, Musigha Musafalu, and Mujjuni Elisaa among others. They had been held in custody since September 2009.

There has been a long history of tension between the king and central government, particularly over land reform. Buganda is one of four ancient kingdoms in Uganda. It was abolished in 1966 but then restored in the 1990s.

© 2016 Dullah Omar Institute
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