Johannesburg – CAGE Africa raises renewed concerns around the kangaroo-like court proceedings surrounding the terrorism trial of Jamil Alilabaki in Uganda after he was detained for 14 months in the horrific Nalufenya prison facility, a known torture site near the town of Jinja.
Alilabaki has issued a statement to CAGE Africa detailing his treatment before the magistrate in Jinja prior to his transfer to the high court to face multiple allegations of terrorism and charges of murder for the killing of Shia leader Abdul Kadir Muwaya in 2015.
CAGE reiterates our calls for an investigation into the Alilabaki’s extradition from Kenya and into the conduct of police officers during his interrogation in Uganda, which we have recorded as violating due process and as amounting to severe torture.
We also call for an objective investigation into the way this trial appears to be being conducted, as it has severe consequences for Alilabaki. We present his voice here, after anonymous individuals delivered his statement to our offices.
In the statement, Alilabaki tells of repeated requests by his lawyer to the state to produce the evidence against him through documentation, so that they might challenge this in court. These requests are met with excuses and repeated delays, until to this day neither Alilabaki nor his lawyer have seen the evidence against him.
This “trial” is due to commence in less than a week to great sensation in the Ugandan and international media.
Jamil Alilabaki told CAGE Africa in a recorded written statement:
“On reaching the court room [of the high court in May 2018 when the case was set to begin], the prosecution was asked to present the indictment, disclosures, summary of evidence and exhibits pertaining to my case. The prosecutor said he couldn’t present the documents because they were in the Jinja court, however the court accepted this and adjourned for two weeks. After two weeks, I was taken back to court, and the prosecution asked to present the documents, but it said it couldn’t release the documents because it said it didn’t know who my lawyer was, even though my lawyer had introduced himself to the court and specifically said he was representing me.”
Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“The treatment of Alilabaki so far has been characterised by what the United Nations would term torture, and therefore any evidence gleaned from him under the horrific conditions he has previously detailed to us, is inadmissible. On top of this, the prosecution has not even presented the evidence against him, so neither he nor his lawyer are able to adequately mount a challenge to the allegations. These violations of the rule of law have been as cruel as they have been flagrant.”
“Alilabaki has consistently declared his innocence and his lawyers have described the charges against him as “erroneous”. Little attention is given to these claims either by the judicial system or the press. As a result, Alilabaki has been treated as guilty from the start, and the trial proceedings appear to have been engineered to reinforce this foregone conclusion. Nothing could be more illustrative of the injustices of the US-led ‘War on Terror’ and how its narratives have been co-opted by African governments intent on snuffing out all opposition, especially when this opposition comes from Muslims.”
CC image courtesy of Unsplash R.D. Smith
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)