Communication 339/2007: Patrick Okiring and Agupio Samson (represented by Human Rights Network and ISIS-WICCE) v. Republic of Uganda Summary of the Communication 1. The Communication was submitted by Human Rights Network – Uganda, HURINET-U, and Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange – ISIS-WICCE (the Complainants), on behalf of Mr. Patrick Okiring and Mr. Agupio Samson (the Victims), on 29 March 2007. The Complaint is brought against the Republic of Uganda (the Respondent State).1 2. The Complainants allege that, on 23 November 2004, the Victims were arrested in Yumbe district in Uganda on allegations of membership in an armed group whose aim was to forcefully overthrow the Government of President Museveni; however they were neither charged nor brought before a court of law at the time of their arrest. 3. The Complainants aver that on 15 November 2005, the Victims, along with 20 other accused including Kiiza Besige (a former Presidential candidate), were charged with treason and concealment of treason, and committed to stand trial in the High Court of Uganda, in Criminal Case No. 955 of 2005. 4. Further, the Complainants allege that on 16 November 2005, fourteen (14) of the accused, including “the two (Peoples Redemption Army [PRA]) suspects,” were granted bail by the High Court; however they were not released in spite of the release orders. The Complainants further allege that, before commencement of the court proceedings, “armed police/military personnel” cordoned off the court premises, stormed the High Court and forcefully returned the bailed suspects back to Luzira Maximum Prison. 5. The Complainants state that on 17 November 2005, the accused were charged with the offence of terrorism, and in the alternative with being in unlawful possession of firearms, before the General Court Martial, in UPDF/GEN/075 of 2005. The Complainants contend that these offences arose from the same facts as the treason and concealment of treason charges, which were earlier preferred against the suspects in the High Court on 15 November 2005. 6. The Complainants aver that the Uganda Law Society filed a petition against the Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No. 18 of 2005 – Uganda Law Society versus the Attorney General, seeking the Court’s interpretation of the concurrent proceedings in the High Court and the Court Martial, in respect of the same charges and in respect of inconsistencies with the Constitution. 7. The Complainants aver that the suspects filed another Constitutional petition, Constitutional Petition No.12 of 2006, seeking the court’s pronouncements and 1 Uganda ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on 10 May 1986 1

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