Johannesburg - A Rwandan school teacher is suing Uganda and demanding $1 million in damages over allegations that he was illegally arrested and tortured in the country.
Venant Hakorimana filed a lawsuit with the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania on Monday claiming he was arrested a day after arriving in Kampala last July and detained for ten months in a Ugandan prison during which time he was subjected to torture, involving beatings and the use of electricity, the East African reported.
Rwandan lawyer Richard Mugisha, the founder and partner of Trust Law Chambers is representing Hakorimana pro-bono.
The 35-year-old Rwandan national said he had been working as a biology teacher in Ethiopia when he travelled to Uganda last year to check on his property in Mbarara District.
He was brought before a court in March this year following nine months’ incarceration and found guilty of illegally entering Uganda before being sentenced to 12-months in prison or alternatively paying a fine of about $266. After he paid the fine, he was deported.
Hakorimana is the third Rwandan to sue Uganda over wrongful detention.
The cases are drawing the attention of the Rwandan authorities as the ongoing diplomatic standoff between Uganda and Rwanda continues after Kigali partially closed its Gatuna border with Kampala in February.
The closure followed Rwandan President Paul Kagame accusing Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of supporting opposition groups seeking to overthrow Kagame’s regime and claiming Kampala was illegally detaining and ill-treating Rwandans in Uganda.
Museveni conceded meeting with members of Rwandan opposition groups but denied supporting them. Uganda, meanwhile, has also accused Rwanda of sending spies into its territory.
African News Agency (ANA)