World Neighbours 02 Nov 2016 Torture routinely us ...

Torture routinely used in Sri Lanka: rights commission

PTI
Published Nov 2, 2016, 3:11 pm IST
Updated Nov 2, 2016, 3:11 pm IST
Torture is used not only during interrogation but also during the process of arrest, according to the periodic review report of October.
The complaints received by the commission illustrate that torture is routinely used in all parts of Sri Lanka regardless of the nature of the suspected offence for which the person is arrested. (Photo: Representational Image/AP)
 The complaints received by the commission illustrate that torture is routinely used in all parts of Sri Lanka regardless of the nature of the suspected offence for which the person is arrested. (Photo: Representational Image/AP)

Colombo: In a candid admission, Sri Lanka's human rights commission has informed a UN panel that detainees were being "routinely" subjected to torture in the country irrespective of the offences for which they were arrested.

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has reported to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) that the practice of inflicting severe pain on a person as a punishment is being routinely used across the country irrespective of the offence for which that person is arrested.

 

Torture is used not only during interrogation but also during the process of arrest, according to the periodic review report of October.

The complaints received by the commission illustrate that torture is routinely used in all parts of Sri Lanka regardless of the nature of the suspected offence for which the person is arrested.

For instance, those arrested on suspicion of robbery, possession of drugs, assault, treasure hunting, dispute with family/spouse, have been subjected to torture.

"The prevailing culture of impunity where those accused of torture is concerned is also a contributing factor to the routine use of torture as a means of interrogation and investigation," the commission said.

 

According to HRCSL, usually, complainants are from low-income groups.

The commission has received complaints of persons sometimes being arrested with family members, sometimes arrests being made due to mistaken identity, and torture used to elicit information or to punish.

According to the report, in 2010 the Commission received 566 complaints against torture, while this number increased to 579 in 2011. In 2012, there were 542 complaints followed by 600 complaints in 2013.

In 2014, a total of 489 complaints were lodged in relation to torture, while in 2015 there were 420 complaints.

 

As of August 31, 2016, a total of 208 complaints have been received in relation to torture, with a majority of the complaints being  recorded at the Commissions head office in Colombo.

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Location: Sri Lanka, Western, Colombo




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