UN rights chiefs closes office in Uganda, expresses concern over human rights violation

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has announced the closure of the UN Human Rights office in Uganda on Sunday, after the East African country decided not to renew an agreement that allowing the office to operate.

Türk expressed his concern about the condition of human rights in Uganda ahead of the 2026 elections, and warned against retrogression from Uganda’s commitments under international human rights treaties.

He urged the Government to ensure the national human rights body to function effectively and independently.

“The Uganda Human Rights Commission, our long-standing partner in the protection and promotion of human rights in the country, is chronically under-funded and under-staffed, and reports of political interference in its mandate undermine its legitimacy, independence and impartiality.

I urge the Ugandan government to provide the Commission with adequate human, technical and financial resources so that it may more effectively execute its important mandate”, he said.

On 26 July, The UN Human Rights Committee issued its findings on Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Cyprus, Lesotho, the State of Palestine and Uganda, which contain the Committee’s main concerns and recommendations on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Committee expressed deep concern about arbitrary arrest and detention of political opponents, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders, also the discrimination and persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act in May 2023.