Home News Sri Lanka’s political detainees tortured in custody: Rights group

Sri Lanka’s political detainees tortured in custody: Rights group


A report by Worldwide Fact and Justice Mission says 15 Tamils had been crushed, burned, suffocated and sexually assaulted for 2 years.

Political detainees in Sri Lanka are being tortured whereas in police and navy custody, a human rights lawyer who wrote a report on alleged abuses says, days earlier than a United Nations human rights summit.

The Worldwide Fact and Justice Mission (ITJP), a rights group documenting alleged abuses in Sri Lanka, on Friday gave particulars in its report of 15 members of the minority Tamil neighborhood, who mentioned they had been crushed, burned, suffocated and sexually assaulted by authorities over the previous two years.

Collectively, their testimony is essentially the most detailed account of alleged new abuses within the island nation since former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa grew to become president in 2019.

“We’re coping with a rustic the place torture is savage, and there’s no inclination on the a part of the federal government to do something about it,” Yasmin Sooka, a rights lawyer who co-authored the report, informed Reuters information company.

“What you’ve gotten is a sort of tacit approval, actually, of these on the highest ranges who condone what is going on.”

The federal government denied the accusations.

“We utterly refute the allegations on this report,” Keheliya Rambukwella, the well being minister who additionally serves as a senior authorities spokesman, informed Reuters.

Some earlier allegations of kidnapping and torture had been made by “vested pursuits” and later confirmed to be false, he mentioned, with out elaborating.

Spokespeople for Sri Lanka’s navy and police declined to touch upon the report.

Sri Lanka ended a 25-year civil struggle between the ethnic Tamil minority separatists and authorities forces in 2009. Rights teams accused each side of abuses through the struggle.

The 15 members – one lady and 14 males – weren’t recognized within the ITJP report. That they had taken half in commemorations for folks killed within the struggle, labored as volunteers for Tamil political events, or acquired funds from overseas on behalf of individuals below surveillance.

Three of the 15 had been members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the principle group that fought the federal government through the struggle, although many had been youngsters on the time.

After being detained, the alleged victims mentioned they had been subjected to therapy together with being suffocated with petrol-soaked plastic baggage and penetrated with an iron rod.

The alleged victims, who fled Sri Lanka, at the moment are in search of asylum in the UK, took half in interviews over the course of a number of days with attorneys and human rights investigators.

9 of the 15 circumstances had supporting medical experiences compiled by impartial consultants confirming torture, the ITJP mentioned.

Those that had not been medically examined had been photographed to indicate their scars.

None was charged with any crime.

UN scrutiny

The report has been launched earlier than a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which begins on Monday and can have a look at Sri Lanka.

The UN has given its human rights boss, Michelle Bachelet, a mandate to gather proof of crimes in opposition to humanity dedicated through the civil struggle.

Rajapaksa has put no less than 28 serving or retired navy and intelligence figures in key administrative posts, together with some talked about within the UN experiences on alleged struggle crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity, Bachelet mentioned in January.

“Sri Lanka will current its standpoint on the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council periods later this month and present the progress that has been made in taking ahead reconciliation,” Rambukwella mentioned.

The ITJP has beforehand assisted in two civil lawsuits in opposition to Rajapaksa, proceedings for considered one of which had been served in a California parking zone in 2019. Rajapaksa was a US citizen on the time.

Each circumstances had been withdrawn after Rajapaksa was granted diplomatic immunity upon changing into president later that yr.