The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of the Uganda Prisons Service for alleged gross human rights abuses targeted at government critics and marginalized groups since 2005.
Byabashaija is part of 20 other people sanctioned by the same office for their connection to human rights abuse in nine countries.
The office contends that during the period under review, members of the Uganda Prisons Service engaged in torture and other serious human rights abuse against prisoners held within prison facilities.
“During that period, members of the UPS have engaged in torture and other serious human rights abuse against prisoners held within UPS facilities. Prisoners have reported being tortured and beaten by UPS staff and by fellow prisoners at the direction of UPS staff. Members of vulnerable groups, including government critics and members of Uganda’s LGBTQI+ community, have been beaten and held without access to legal counsel; for example, in a 2020 case, the UPS denied a group of LGBTQI+ persons access to their lawyers and members of the group reportedly endured physical abuse, including a forced anal examination and scalding,” the office said in a statement.
The Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) is yet to respond