A CATHOLIC priest, who has been detained without trial by the Ugandan authorities since May. has been adopted by the Cambridge Branch of Amnesty International. Fr Vincent Okot is being held in appalling conditions in Luzira prison, near Kampala.
Fr Okot's case is symptomatic of the security situation in a country which was recently described by Ugandan church leaders as "bleeding to death". It is estimated that more than 2,000 people have been arrested since the outbreak of guerrilla activities in Uganda in February 1981.
Many of them, like Fr Okot, have not been charged with any offence, nor provided with any explanation for their detention,
Fr Okot, 40. a former elected member of the National Consultative s Council — Uganda's interim parliament — was arrested after returning to Uganda after a Churchsponsored visit to the USA. He is
a member of the Acholi ethnic group and fled Uganda in 1974 after one of the many waves of arrests and killings directed against the group.
He returned in 1979, resuming his pastoral work in the diocese of Gulu. Ile is a member of the democratic party which became the parliamentary opposition after the December 1980 elections, won by Dr Milton Obote's Uganda People's Congress.