A new report shows an overwhelming number of Ugandans in prisons without trial

By Samuel Sebuliba

A new report released by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative shows that an overwhelming number of Ugandans are being held in prisons without trial.

The report titled “justice delayed is justice denied ” shows that between June 2016  and February 2017 3,674 suspects arrested for petty theft were remanded beyond the constitutional 60 days while 628 others arrested for capital offences were unlawfully kept on the pre-trial stage beyond the recommended 180 days.

It further shows that 92% of suspects spend more than 48 hours in police cells without being formally charged, with those arrested for non-capital offences spending more than 11 days while those arrested on capital offences stay beyond 12 days.

Lizet Vlamings a senior researcher at the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative attributed these scenarios to the fact that Uganda has few judicial officers, coupled with the inability of the police inability to thoroughly investigate cases.

The survey was carried out in nine month period across Uganda.