HRAPF intervenes in sex worker’s case in Lira

Over the weekend, HRAPF was called upon to intervene in the case of a female sex worker in Lira who was arrested on Friday the 19th of February 2018 after being locked in her room with a client for hours by a police officer. The officer had previously raped her and continued to ask for sexual favours, which she was unwilling to grant. It is thought that both the detention and later arrest were acts of vengeance on his part. Upon her arrest, she was told that her offence was harboring fugitives and thieves. Her client was arrested as well on allegations of theft. They were both initially denied police bond but after HRAPF intervention, the sex worker was released from custody and a complaint formally registered at the Police Professional Standards Unit’s regional office. A complaint had previously been reported about the same officer, who had beaten the same sex worker and badly injured her in the latter part of 2017 for refusing to have sex with him. All the women that had made allegations of sexual assault against the officer were asked to report and make their statements so that he can face disciplinary action for his actions.

HRAPF shall continue to follow up on this case, in close collaboration with our partners from the region, to ensure that the sex workers in the area are protected from such wanton violation and abuse of power, and that the errant officer is brought to book. Let us work together to protect sex workers in Uganda as we take human rights to all.


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