The ministry of foreign affairs has dismissed allegations on social media that over 23 Ugandans accused of drug trafficking are to be hanged in China.
In a statement released today, the ministry brands as false, the message being circulated on different social media platforms with names of the victims.
“This is to inform the general public that the list that is in circulation is one of Ugandans who were sentenced to death a number of years ago but were granted a two-year reprieve by the Chinese courts, which was later reduced from deaths to life imprisonment and further to a fixed term, ” the statement reads in part.
The ministry says it understands the Chinese government has not scheduled any executions of Ugandan prisoners lately and that the two governments carryout bilateral discussions on bilateral pending cases.
“The information that is circulating regarding the alleged executions is therefore false and we request that out of respect for each other, as well as the families of those concerned, individuals should exercise restraint and sensitivity when making a decision to circulate unsubstantiated information,” the statement continues.
Margeret Kafeero, the ministry’s acting Head of Public Diplomacy, told The Observer today that whereas Ugandans are arrested all over the world for offences among which is drug trafficking, this particular communication was to address only the issue of China following the “false alarm and not because there is any sort of crisis”.
She notes that all governments are engaged in situations like this but emphasis has been on China because of the death penalty issue which has caused an outcry.
“We as a government do not encourage our citizens to break the laws and are not advocating for them to be above the laws of their host countries. Our appeal is for clemency not for impunity,” Kafeero said.