Uganda's police chief has been summoned to court over torture charges related to alleged police brutality against members of the political opposition.

The charges against Gen. Kale Kayihura were brought by rights lawyers acting independently of the public prosecutor.

Solomon Muyita, a spokesman for the judiciary, said Monday that criminal summonses were issued last week against Kayihura and seven other officers.

Ugandan police have drawn wide condemnation recently over their tactics against supporters of opposition leader Kizza Besigye. In one incident last month, police wielding sticks were seen roughing up civilians who had gathered at the roadside to see Besigye, who faces treason charges, after he had won bail.

Kayihura praised the perpetrators of the beatings.

Kayihura and his co-accused have been ordered to appear in court August 10.