By Our Reporter
The United States of America Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned Uganda’s Commissioner of Prisons over what it calls gross abuse of human rights.
It gives an example of a 2020 case where allegedly, the UPS denied a group of LGBTQI+ persons access to their lawyers and members of the group reportedly endured physical abuse, including a forced anal examination and scalding.
The sanctions announced by the U.S Department of the Treasury on Friday, 8th December, 2023 has 19 others in 9 countries sanctioned for ‘their connection to human rights abuse.’
According to the press release, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija has allegedly superintended over torture and other serious human rights abuse against prisoners held within UPS facilities.
The statement claims that prisoners have reported being tortured and beaten by Uganda Prison Service (UPS) staff and by fellow prisoners at the direction of UPS staff.
It further claims that members of vulnerable groups, including government critics and members of Uganda’s LGBTQI+ community, have been beaten and held without access to legal counsel. It gives an example of a 2020 case where allegedly, the UPS denied a group of LGBTQI+ persons access to their lawyers and members of the group reportedly endured physical abuse, including a forced anal examination and scalding.
Byabashaija is being designated for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to the leader’s or official’s tenure pursuant to E.O. 13818.
It is the same law under which Gen Kale was sanctioned.
The sanctions mean that; all property and interests in property of the designated persons (Byabashaija) that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.
In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.
Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action.
The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.