On 14th May 2020, HRAPF, in conjunction with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), and Robert. F. Kennedy Human Rights, filed a petition with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, challenging the continued detention of 19 youth, who were arrested due to their perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, but later charged and remanded for allegedly violating presidential directives on COVID-19. In a statement issued on the filing of the petition, the rights groups decried Uganda's use of the COVID-19 response to persecute the LGBT youth.

Today the High Court Civil Division made a ruling on an application that was made by HRAPF, for an order of grant of access to their clients, pending the determination of a suit in which the denial of access by the Commissioner General of Prisons was challenged as being in contravention of the right to fair hearing. The ruling, which was delivered today by the presiding judge, His Lordship Micheal Elubu, highlights the fact that the continued denial of the HRAPF lawyers access to their clients is a continued violation of  the non-derogable right to a fair hearing. The detailed ruling can be found here: pdf 20 05 13 Ruling on HRAPF Vs AG and Commissioner General of Prisons copy (4.56 MB)

The decongestion of Uganda's prisons has never been so important, as it is in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the presidential pardon of 833 prisoners does offer some relief, there is still a lot to be done. The Coalition to Decriminalise and Declassify Petty Offences in Uganda has thus petitioned the Attorney General to take further steps towards decongesting prisons, as well as other detention facilities, with a view to enforcing social distancing measures aimed at curbing the spread of the corona virus. See the detailed letter here: pdf 20 05 05 Letter to the Attonery General on Decongestion of Prisons (1019 KB)