Uganda: Judiciary

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the freedom of the judiciary in Uganda.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The Ugandan judiciary has been relatively free of political interference in recent years. However we are concerned about recent events surrounding the detention of the alleged People's Redemption Army suspects. The violence used by the Government forces at the Uganda High Court on 1 March to frustrate the decision of the High Court to grant the suspects bail has grave implications for the independence of the judiciary, respect for the rule of law and human rights in Uganda. The Uganda judiciary remains on strike in protest at these events.

Our high commissioner in Kampala made representations to the acting Foreign Minister, Henry Okello Oryem, on 2 March. My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, raised our concerns with the Ugandan high commissioner in London on 5 March. We will continue to press all sides to respect the rule of law and abide by the constitution.

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