Uganda: Human Rights

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

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Photo of Harry Cohen Harry Cohen Labour, Leyton and Wanstead

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on Government action against High Court judges in Uganda; what assessment she has made of the implications of such activity for (a) human rights, (b) democracy and (c) Commonwealth activity in Uganda.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We are monitoring events surrounding the detention of the alleged People's Redemption Army suspects and the related court proceedings. 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 are liaising with other international partners, including the Commonwealth Secretariat. We will continue to press all sides to respect the rule of law and abide by the constitution.

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