10 July 2018

Uganda: Police Hunt for Man Filmed Torturing Pregnant Woman

Police in Lira District are hunting for a man who was filmed at the weekend torturing a naked pregnant woman in Bar-opu Village, Adekokwok Sub-county, Lira District.

The video, which was shared across the district through social media site WhatsApp, shows the man brutally beating up the expectant woman as she wails for help in vain.

The action has since been condemned by residents, human rights activists, religious and district leaders.

The District Police Commander, Mr Joel Tubanone, yesterday identified the man in the video as Hillary Owino.

Mr Tubanone said they have since located the scene and a team of detectives have been dispatched to arrest the suspect.

"We have identified the suspect and my team is already on the ground hunting for him," he said.

The woman, who is three months pregnant, was beaten up for allegedly stealing a mobile phone belonging to another woman only identified as Maggie.

Humiliation

In the video, the woman can be heard screaming in Luo in front of her child who was standing on a veranda of their house.

In the footage, a group of men and women can he heard in the background cheering. The man then pours a jerrican of water on the woman as he continues flogging her.

He only stops beating the helpless woman after she starts walking away.

Ms Emily Akullu Omacara, a human rights activist, termed the act inhuman.

"I am very ashamed of my people. I do not care whether she stole the phone or not. It is not acceptable for anybody to lay hands on another like that. It is absurd," she said.

Ms Akullu urged the public not to take the law in their hands. "Imagine she was crying out loud for help but nobody helped her. People should desist from mob action," the human rights activist added.

Maid torture video

Looking back. In 2014, Ugandans were shocked by a widely publicised footage from a video surveillance camera.

The footage that went viral showed Ms Jolly Tumuhiirwe, a house help, torturing Arnella Kamanzi, a toddler who was one-and-half-years at the time.

Ms Tumuhiirwe, who was subsequently sentenced to four years in jail, was released last August after serving about two years and eight months in jail.

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