A Uganda court has charged 10 police officers with “aggravated torture” for allegedly forcing dozens of women to rub mud on their genitals as punishment for breaking a coronavirus curfew, AFP reports.
The incident allegedly took place on 2 April in the northern town of Elegu, on the border with South Sudan, the day after a nighttime curfew took effect in the fight against Covid-19.
The police officers appeared before the court in nearby Gulu on Tuesday.
On Monday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga had announced a joint investigation with the army into the “alleged aggravated torture of several women and a few men who were being accused of flouting curfew orders and the ban on public spaces”.
He said security forces had used a “heavy-handed approach” to disperse the 31 women, described by Uganda Radio Network as sex workers, and seven men.
“The patrollers kicked doors open and dragged the occupants out, and some fell in the muddy surfaces. Several vlnerable women and a few men were injured in the process.”
Victims reported the incident to their landlady, Beatrice Auma, who took photos of their injuries, Enanga said, adding: “The images went viral.”
The injuries included wounds on the women’s thighs and buttocks apparently from caning — a known practice of the Ugandan security forces.
Paris bans jogging
Paris on Tuesday banned daytime jogging to keep people from bending anti-coronavirus lockdown rules as France breached 10 000 deaths due to the outbreak, AFP reports.
Other cities also announced stricter restrictions, some controversial, on the day top health official Jerome Salomon told journalists 10 328 people had died of Covid-19 in France since 1 March.
Of these, 7 091 had perished in hospitals – 597 in the last 24 hours – and 3 237 in old age homes, Salomon said, warning “the epidemic is continuing its progression.”
“We are in the ascending phase of the epidemic, even if it is slowing a bit,” he said, adding “we have not yet reached the peak.”
Senior government officials warned it was too early to think of lifting the nationwide lockdown which entered into force on 17 March and is set to run until 15 April.
UK farmers forced to throw away milk
Deprived of customers such as supermarkets, restaurants and schools due to the coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown UK farmers are throwing away thousands of litres of milk, reports AFP.
Coffee shops and office blocks, also shut because of Covid-19, are no longer receiving their early morning deliveries, although there has been a hike in the amount of milk being dropped off at people’s homes in time for breakfast, according to the publication FarmingUK.
One farmer told the publication he has had to dump about 17 000 litres of milk.