Kampala. Six Rwandans have been arrested and detained by the military for more than five days on unknown charges, according to family members.
Family members on Thursday said their relatives have been held incommunicado at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence headquarters since December 20, despite written complaints to the authorities.
Those detained, according to a joint family statement, are Herbert Munyangaju, Freddy Turatsinze, Jessica Muhongerwa, Vanessa Gasaro, Dianne Kamikazi and Kamashazi Dianne.
While presenting the family statement in Kampala, Ms Claudette Ninsiima said her husband, Mr Munyangaju, was on December 20 arrested by armed men from a bar on Nyanama Road in Kampala and his car taken away.
Ms Ninsiima claimed her husband’s arrest is one of several others.
“As family members, we are concerned that our people have been, against their will, detained, pursuant to an arrest irregular and unlawful in every sense of the word; held at ungazetted locations and for the period of time prohibited by law,” she said.
However, the army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said he was not aware of the said arrests.
“I need (time) to find out the truth of the story because no one has brought it to my attention. I am not aware and I do not know these people,” he said.
The families of the detained Rwandans were flanked by lawyers Gawaya Tegule and Aaron Kiiza.
Mr Tegule accused government of denying them access to their clients, and for detaining them without evidence contrary to international laws on human rights.
Mr Tegule cited another case of arrest and illegal deportation of a one Fidele Gatsinzi, whom he said had gone to visit his child at Uganda Christian University in Mukono.
He said Mr Gatsinzi was tortured and dumped at Gatuna border side in Rwanda despite several pleas by his lawyers to have him presented before court.
Another person, according to Mr Kiiza, is Mr Rene Rutangungira, who is jointly charged with police officers over the kidnap of the former bodyguard to Rwandan president Paul Kagame.
If the complaint by the families is true, it would bring to 51 the number of Rwandans in detention in Uganda.
Last week, lawyers petitioned the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Jinja over the continued detention of 45 Rwandans at Nalufenya Police Station.
The lawyers say the suspects are refugees from Nakivale Settlement Camp in Mbarara, who were travelling to Tanzania for a Christian fellowship.
However, police said the group committed serious offences, including terrorism in Uganda.