Family of detained American national sues Ugandan government

Family of detained American national sues Ugandan government
Family of detained American National Milton Smith at High Court in Kampala. Courtesy Photo

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The family of detained American national, Guy Milton Smith who was arrested by security agencies has sued the government demanding for his unconditional release.

In an application filed by Smith’s wife Sharon Tusiime before the Civil Division of High Court in Kampala, the government is sued alongside Brigadier Chris Serunjogi Ddamulira, the Director of Crime Intelligence in Uganda Police Force, the Commandant Special Investigations Bureau Kireka and the Inspector General of Police.

Tusiime contends that security personnel invaded their home in Fort Portal city at around 2:00 am on March 21, 2021, and forcefully whisked her husband away to Kampala. She says since then, Smith continues to be held incommunicado at a police facility in Kireka under unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful directions of Ddamulira.

According to Tusiime, by the time of Smith’s arrest, he had been to Ruharo Eye Centre in Mbarara for a surgical procedure on his right eye on March 16, 2021, and was still recovering when security personnel broke into their house and whisked him away in a drone escorted by two other motor vehicles without any identification numbers.

She adds that with the assistance of the lawyers from the centre for Legal Aid and the consular officers from the American Embassy in Kampala who eventually managed to visit Smith on April 15, 2021, she has been able to establish that her husband is under illegal detention at SIU police facility in Kireka.

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Guy Smith with one of his children earlier

Tusiime who addressed journalists at the court with her two children wearing black T-shirts with inscriptions, ‘Free this Guy,’ ‘Father’, ‘husband and resident’, said that Smith has on several occasions suffered from heart failure.

She thinks that at the moment, Smith who has not been informed about charges against him is not receiving adequate care for his pre-existing condition and at the moment, the family is struggling to earn a living.

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The family through their lawyers led by Henry Byansi now want him to be released unconditionally because his constitutional right to liberty continues to be violated with impunity by the respondents through their agents and servants.

Last month, the police released a statement saying that Smith had been detained for alleged subversive activities conducted against the Government of Uganda. But the same police did not issue out the details of the allegations.

Charles Twine, the spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Department said that they are ready to respect any decision the family obtains from the court.

Several people especially supporters of National Unity Platform (NUP) have in the past been arrested by armed security personnel both in uniform and travelling in numberless vehicles from their homes.