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Lord Dholakia visits Uganda to examine death penalty issues

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

High Commissioner welcomes Peer to Kampala; Visit will include tour of prison

The Rt Hon. the Lord Dholakia OBE DL is visiting Uganda from 17 to 19 February. The programme for his visit will focus on issues related to the death penalty. Lord Dholakia is a member of the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, which campaigns for the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances and raises awareness of death penalty cases. Uganda retains the death penalty.

Lord Dholakia’s visit programme began on 17 February at a dinner hosted by the British High Commissioner, HE Alison Blackburne, at her Residence. The Ugandan Government was represented at the dinner by the Minister of Justice, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire, the Attorney General, Hon. Peter Nyombi, and the Commissioner of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaijja. The Ugandan parliament and civil society were also represented.

Lord Dholakia will also hold meetings during his visit with the Deputy High Commissioner, Mary Shockledge, the Delegation of the European Union in Uganda, the Uganda Human Rights Commission, and the Uganda Law Society. He will also visit Luzira Maximum Security Prison in Kampala, to see facilities for the accommodation of prisoners who have been sentenced to death, and the work of the Africa Prisons Project, a British NGO working in Uganda.

Navnit Dholakia was born in Tanzania, moving to the UK as a young man to work in the medical sector. He was made a life peer as Baron Dholakia, of Waltham Brooks in the County of West Sussex, in 1997, and served as an assistant whip for the Liberal Democrats between 1997 and 2002, before becoming the party’s frontbench spokesperson on Home Affairs. Lord Dholakia was elected to the post of Party President of the Liberal Demcorats in 1999 and in 2002. In November 2004, he was elected joint Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Peers.

Lord Dholakia’s political interests include criminal justice and penal affairs. This has involved him in the Sussex Police Authority, the Police Complaints Authority and he has been a council member of the Howard League for Penal Reform since 1992 and a member of the editorial board of the Howard Journal of Criminology. From 1992-1996 he served as a member of the Ethnic Minority Advisory Committee of the Judicial Studies Board. Lord Dholakia has written several articles on criminal justice.