Urgent Interventions

Break-in of the offices of TRIUMPH Uganda

UGA 001 /1219 / OBS 105
Break-in/ Assault

December 13
, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a jointpartnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requestsyour urgent intervention in the following situation in Uganda.

Descriptionof the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sourcesabout the break-in of the offices of The Robust Initiative for Promoting HumanRights (TRIUMPH Uganda). TRIUMPH Uganda is an organisation focused onprotecting and advocating for the human rights of marginalised members of thecommunity, including LGBTI persons.

According to the information received, in the night ofDecember 10, 2019, unknown persons broke into TRIUMPH Uganda offices in Mbale.The perpetrators drugged the security dog, shut down electricity through themain supply and blocked rear entrance door and other internal access doors. Thepersons accessed the Programme Officer and Executive Director’s offices,opening the file cabinets, and took with them, among other items, two computersand the entire security surveillance and storage system.

In the morning of December 11, 2019, a neighbour whosaw that the office had been broken-in called TRIUMPH Uganda’s ExecutiveDirector, Mr. Shibolo Awali, who was in an official meeting in Kampala.Mr. Shibolo Awali informed the organisation staff, who immediately called IUIUpolice station. Police officers immediately deployed to the office premises andstayed until December 12, 2019. The case was registered under reference number07/11/12/2019. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, investigationsare still ongoing on this break-in.

In the morning of December 10, 2019, Mr. Shibolo Awalidelivered a speech on the situation of LGBTI persons’ rights before EuropeanUnion representatives in Mbale.

The Observatoryrecalls that this is not the first time TRIUMPH Uganda offices are broken into.On June 8, 2019, the same office was broken into but internal access had beenunsuccessful and damage was only done to the organisation motor vehicle and abattery plugged off. The case was registered at IUIU police station underreference number 05/08/06/2019. The police still have to send its report onthis break-in.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern aboutthe break-in of TRIUMPH Uganda office premises, which seems to be aimed atintimidating its members and prevent their legitimate human rights activities.The Observatory urges the authorities of Uganda to ensure that the physicaland psychological integrity of TRIUMPH Uganda members is guaranteed and tocarry-out an immediate, thorough, transparent investigation into theabove-mentioned facts.


Please write to the authorities of Uganda asking themto:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrityof TRIUMPH Uganda members and related personnel, as well as all human rightsdefenders in Uganda;

ii.Carry-out an immediate, thorough, transparent investigation into theabove-mentioned break-ins and thefts in order to identify all thoseresponsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and apply them thesanctions provided by the law;

iii.Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders and organisations inUganda are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities withoutfear of reprisals;

iv. Conformwith the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted bythe General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially itsArticles 1, 5 and 12.2;

v. Ensure inall circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with international human rights standards and internationalinstruments ratified by Uganda.


• President Kaguta Yoweri Museveni, President of theRepublic of Uganda, Fax: +256 (0) 414 436 102 / + 256 41 4235459 / +256 414344012. E-mail: /
• General Jeje Odongo, Minister of Internal Affairs, Fax: +256 414343088
Mr. Obiga Kania, State Minister for Internal Affairs, Fax: + 256414343088• Mr. William Byaruhanga, Attorney General, and Hon. KahindaOtafiire, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of Uganda, Fax: + 25641 4250829. E-Mail:
• Mr. Mike Chibita, Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justiceand Constitutional Affairs of Uganda, Fax: +256-414-258-565/341-316, Email:

Uganda Human RightsCommission, Email: Telephone: +256414348007

• Mr. Martin Ochola,Inspector General of Police, Telephone: +256 (0) 712 755 999

Mr. Barasa Ogajo, Resident District Commissioner of Mbale, Telephone:+256772846478, Email:

H.E. ChristopherOnyanga Aparr, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations in Geneva,Switzerland. Fax: + 41 22 340 70 30. Email:

H.E. Mirjam Blaak Sow,Embassy of Uganda to the EU in Brussels, Belgium. Fax: + 32 2.763.04.38. ,

• H.E. Attilio Pacifici, Head of the Delegationof the European Union in Uganda, Phone: +256 312-701 000, Fax: +256 414-233708, Email:

• Mr. Cathal Gilbert, HRD Focal Point,Delegation of the European Union in Uganda, Phone: +256 776 008 187, Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Uganda in yourrespective countries.


Paris-Geneva, December 13, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (theObservatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation AgainstTorture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedysituations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are bothmembers of, the European UnionHuman Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civilsociety.

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