"We are satisfied that the applicant (Kwoyelo) has made out a case showing that the Amnesty Commission and the Director of Prosecutions have not accorded him equal treatment under the Amnesty Act. He is entitled to a declaration that their acts are inconsistent with Article (21)(1)(2) of the Constitution and thus null and void. We so find."
Thomas Kwoyelo is free. Equal protection under the law has prevailed.
Not but a few weeks ago this man was hoping I could somehow extract him from Luzira and get him asylum in America. Now he gets to go to his home village. His mother is waiting.
We were supposed to lose. I was sure that we would lose the Amnesty Petition. Hell, I helped write the brief on this before I even went to Uganda. We were supposed to lose. We were supposed to appeal (and lose). We were supposed to have to go to trial (and lose). Even though we had the best arguments, we were still supposed to lose. It wasn't going to be fair. The government was going to get whatever it wanted.
As Francis said when Nicholas and I dismayed about the futility of our work, "We must do or jobs." I guess we did.
As soon as the International Crimes Division sits, Kwoyelo leaves Luzira Prison and makes his way home. He can go through a reconciliation ritual and be welcomed back into his village. From there, he can start his life anew. I doubt I will ever see him again but he, and this, will always be a part of me.
This is not the end, but it is a remarkable end of the beginning. We still have the torture case to argue, we have the the other war crimes cases in the queue, and we are rushing headlong into the human rights cases (defending homosexuals from prosecution). I cannot wait to go back to Africa.
When Francis gave me the news, he was not rejoicing in the way I had expected but rather directed my attention to the rest of the cases we have to win.
I am so ready.
Thanks and gratitude for all that continue to follow.