"Hung upside down, beaten in genitals"- torture victim

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 February 2005, 01:03 GMT]
Sivakumaran Sahinthan (27) from Suthumalai, Manipay in Jaffna, giving evidence in trial before the Jaffna High court Tuesday, stated that in October 2001 officers attached to Jaffna Police suspended him from a high beam with toes fastened and repeatedly assaulted him, local media reported. As a result of the beatings that continued for five days he suffered injuries and was hospitalized for 27 days.

The Sri Lanka Attorney General under the Offensive Weapons Act, indicted Mr Sanithan on a charge of being in possession of a hand grenade.

Sub-Inspector of Police, Mr. Priyantha, Sergeants Mendis and Jaywardene, with 21 Military Officers were listed as other witnesses to the prosecution.

Police said in their evidence that on a tip they received on the 20th October 2001 they went to the residence of the youth in Suthumalai and recovered a hand grenade from the compound adjoining his house.

However, Mr Sahinthan told the court that he was taken into custody by certain military personnel on 14th October 2001, a week before the date mentioned in Police Evidence, to the Jaffna Police Station, where he was assaulted.

Mr Sahinthan said that the police officers hung him from his legs and repeatedly beat him often in his genital area. Once the rope he was suspended with broke and he landed head first on the floor receiving severe injuries.

The suspect further stated that when he saw a European Woman who he believed was an official from the ICRC walking into the Police Station during a short break, he ran towards her, fell at her feet and sought help. He said, it was only as a result of the intervention by this ICRC Official the Police moved to produce him before the Jaffna Magistrate at her official residence on the night of 18th October 2001.

Mr Sahinthan said he was taken before the Judicial Medical Officer attached to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital for Medical Examination before he was taken to the Court. The Police had threatened him not to divulge anything to the Medical Officer about what happened at the Police Station. He was threatened that his twin brother will be shot to death if he divulged anything.

The youth also stated, in his evidence, that he also underwent psychiatric treatment at the said hospital.

Mr.S.Sri Kantha, Attorney-at-Law defended the youth. Miss. Suhanthy Kandasamy, appeared on behalf of the Attorney General.

Jaffna High Court Judge, Mr. K.P.S.Varatharajah, fixed further hearing for 24th February 2005.

 

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