In the case of HARRIET MUKODA AKA NAIGAGA HANIFA V INTERNATIONAL AIDS VACCINE INSTITUTE & OTHERS, HUMAN RIGHTS PETITION NO. 305 OF 2017 IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA KAMPALA.
CORAM; HON. JUSTICE MUSA SSEKAANA, Judgement delivered on the 8th day of May 2020.
This was a petition where the petitioner sued the respondents for violation of her right to life, freedom from torture and inhuman treatment. The petitioner took part in a study where a drug was administered to her and other participants. Before being enrolled in the study, the petitioner, according to the evidence submitted in court, was tested positive in regards to hepatitis B, and she consented to be part of the study.
The petitioner’s case was that she was negative before the study. Upon being administered with a drug, the respondents made her believe that the drug would protect her against contracting hepatitis B. She also claimed that her consent was obtained unlawfully since she was not in a position to understand Luganda, which was the language that was used to interpret the consent form to her.
The High Court judge in dismissing this petition stated that interpretation as to whether there has been a violation on the right to freedom from torture must be strict. According to the evidence adduced in court, the petitioner failed to show that she was negative before the study. She also failed to show that she was not able to understand the Luganda language used because of evidence showing that she was the peer teacher for the participants in the study and interpreted to all of them what was entailed in the consent form. The petition was accordingly dismissed on the above grounds.