Former professional boxer Justin Juuko revealed that he had survived torture while under detention at Mbuya Military Barracks after threatening his tormentors with a fightback if assaulted.
The boxer together with another Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activist Garrpaul Mayanja was reportedly arrested by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence personnel on December 12 when they were conducting training for polling agents in the Greater Masak area.
Juuko was resented before the barrack disciplinary unit to answer charges of treachery and illegal possession of firearms before being detained at Makindye barracks.
He was released on December 31 after being detained for 19 days after the charges against him were withdrawn by the General Court Martial
“We were arrested when we were doing voluntary work for our party, but I was shocked to hear allegations that we were training people to riot,” Juuko told journalists in Kampala on Monday, 4 January.
“At Mbuya I was already stressed and when the soldiers attempted to torture me, I threatened to fight back,” he said.
“I realized young officers had a tendency of torturing detainees and when they tried it on me, I told them to stop because I could fight back in my defense, which could end badly.”
He however noted that when they were transferred to Makindye from Mbuya barracks in Kampala, they were treated well.
“The military at Makindye treated me professionally and I had no issue with them,” Juuko said.
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He further noted that at the barrack’s detection units, he found inmates who had spent several years in detention without being charged.
“There are many detainees who have spent three years without knowledge of their charges. Others said even their families do not know where they are. I need to become a human rights activist to seek justice for such people,” he said.
The boxing fraternity has been in fear since the detention of Juuko. This is after security personnel killed renowned boxer Isaac Zebra Ssenyange while three more boxers have gone missing and one has returned after being tortured in an unknown detention cell.