Ugandan rights activists say grisly images of the torture of a detained politician, showing septic wounds on his body, highlight escalating brutality and impunity by the country's security personnel.
Pictures began circulating online and in local media on Thursday of Geoffrey Byamukama, mayor of a small town in western Uganda, lying on a hospital bed with gaping wounds on his swollen knees and ankles, and bruises elsewhere on his body.
Security services deny accusations of using torture to wring confessions from suspects. President Yoweri Museveni, 72, has often expressed support for his top police boss whom he has praised for helping contain protests against his government.
Police spokesman Asan Kasingye said two security personnel had been arrested in connection with Byamukama's torture but gave no further details. "We do not condone torture ... it is not our method of work," he told Reuters.
Sarah Birete, program director at the Centre for Constitutional Governance, disagreed. "Torture to get information from suspects is the standard now and we are yet to see more," told Reuters.
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