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Uganda: A lawyer's brief, a mother's grief

April 25, 2010|

Richard Omongole, a Ugandan lawyer and former country director for Amnesty International, is legal adviser to the Gideon Foundation, a small organization that was founded by the father of a child who was killed during a ritual sacrifice. In this video interview, conducted in late February 2010, Omongole explains that investigations of child sacrifice cases are often very slow and ineffective, and that most cases end with no conviction (as happened again this past week, in a case that received wide coverage in the Uganda media).

He also describes how corruption and lack of training prevent the families of victims from obtaining justice. Omongole has drafted a proposed law to stop child sacrifice. He says that in his view the government has done very little to stop this crime. In the final part of the interview Omongole describes the case of Mukisa, a three-year-old boy whose genitals were mutilated as part of a ritual, and the government's failure thus far to bring his suspected abuser to justice. Mr. Omongole also explains that most families cannot afford to hire a private lawyer, which is why he believes they rarely have justice.

INTERVIEW Richard OMONGOLE - PART 1 of 2

INTERVIEW Richard OMONGOLE - PART 2 of 2

We also videotaped an interview with the mother and brother of Margaret Babirye Nankya, a 10-year-old girl from Katugwe who was mutilated and murdered in late January. The interview took place on the day after the murder. The interviews are shown below, in an unedited form without translation and also in a version with an English voice-over prepared by staff of RACHO, the Ugandan NGO that has helped lead the investigation of child sacrifice cases in Uganda.

In the interview Babirye's brother first tells us how they found Babirye's body, and that he was involved in the search. The mother then explains that she's concerned the chief suspect in the case will bribe the police and escape punishment.

UNEDITED INTERVIEW - NO voice over

EDITED INTERVIEW WITH VOICE OVER in ENGLISH