Uganda Human Rights Commission Chair Raises Alarm Over Prison Congestion

KAMPALA, (UG)-The chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Mariam Wangadya, has decried the increasing congestion in prisons.

Speaking at a press conference in Kampala yesterday, Wangadya said her commission has been visiting different jails across the country and noted the difficulties faced by prisoners because of the congested facilities.

Wangadya cited a prison they visited last week in Jinja with over 2,600 prisoners, yet its capacity is only 300. Her comments come days to the commemoration of the Human Rights Day slated for December 10. The UHRC called for the fast-tracking of the hearing of court cases so that the innocent are released and urged the government to construct more detention facilities to accommodate inmates.

The recent Government of Uganda-Development Partners Access to Justice report revealed that the prison population had doubled from 35,564 prisoners in the 2013/2014 financial year to 73,722 prisoners in 2022/2023.