Johannesburg – CAGE calls for the immediate release of Omar Awadh Omar from his mysterious re-arrest in Uganda.
Omar was rearrested for the second time, after the International Crimes Division of the Ugandan High Court definitively cleared him of all allegations of terrorism in connection with the 2010 nightclub bombing in Kampala.
Judge Oguli-Omuo, who acquitted Omar after he had served eight years in prison, warned security police to refrain from re-arresting him, or else “it would be the security services that went to jail”.
Omar is currently being held in Kireka by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), a unit notorious for torture and its links to foreign security agencies including those of the US and the UK.
Prior to being rearrested, Omar filed an application challenging his deportation to Kenya, since he is Ugandan by birth and did not want to face further criminalisation in Kenya. However, it is not known exactly why Omar has been rearrested.
Omar holds key knowledge of British and American complicity of torture in Africa, and he has filed a court case in Britain in an attempt to hold Britain accountable for the role its agents played in his torture. He has described to UK media physical torture, mock executions and sexual humiliation by American and British agents, giving rise to concerns by human rights organisations of a ‘new Guantanamo’ in Kampala.
Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“Omar was released late last week to his overjoyed mother and wife – however he was only able to spend less than a week with his mother, when police stormed into her home during a night raid and re-arrested him, transporting him to an unknown location for an unknown reason.”
“The re-arrest and charging of persons immediately after being acquitted is nothing less than serial incarceration – a strategy to continue keeping innocent people in custody in a manner that it torturous to them and their families.”
“The fact that there is so little clarity regarding why he was re-arrested and where he is, gives rise to speculation. This denial of justice spotlights not only the lack of rule of law in Uganda, but the manner in which the justice system itself is being subverted by a security service agenda that may well be obeying foreign interests, who are deeply vested in keeping Omar quiet.”
Moazzam Begg, CAGE outreach director, said:
“Omar was rendered from Kenya to Uganda without any legal process. Despite that, when the process of attempting to prosecute him, spanning a period of seven years ends in failure he should be protected from the security services. In this case, as the presiding judge stated, they are the culprits, not him. Omar should be immediately released, compensated and a full investigation mounted regarding his abusive treatment.”
(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.)