IN SHORT: Social media posts allege that Uganda’s human rights commission said the open wounds of an opposition member were faked. But this is based on a fabricated tweet.
In what looks like a screenshot of a tweet, Uganda’s human rights commission appears to accuse a supporter of an opposition leader of faking torture claims.
The tweet in the screenshot, posted on Facebook, reads: “We have seen edited pictures of Mr. Eric Tumwesigwa alleging torture by CMI. Our investigations as the @UHRC_UGANDA show that the victim has applied food colors to depict torture.”
It ends: “We are used to NUP antics of rabble rousing! Kindly disregard the sympathy card.”
Eric Mwesigwa is a supporter of Robert Kyangulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine. After a violent election campaign, Uganda went to the polls on 14 January 2021. Wine, a popular musician, lost to president Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986.
NUP refers to the National Unity Platform, the political party led by Wine, while the CMI is the military intelligence unit of the Ugandan army.
Wine has repeatedly accused Museveni and the ruling National Resistance Movement of human rights abuses.
Wine supported Mwesigwa’s claims of torture on Twitter.
A military spokesman denied the allegation in a statement, claiming the man was “not in the hands of any security agency”, but the comments angered others, amid continuing allegations of torture in Uganda.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission, or UHRC, investigates alleged violations, either on its own initiative or in response to a complaint from an individual or group. Mwesigu recorded a statement with the UHRC after his alleged ordeal.
But did the commission really invalidate his claims, saying he faked his wounds?
On 14 February 2023, the commission posted the screenshot of the circulating tweet on its official Twitter account, stamping it “FAKE”.
“Please disregard this!” the UHRC wrote.
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