Man dies under police torture, family threatened - AHRC

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 May 2005, 17:11 GMT]
A Sinhala man died during police torture on April 18, 2005 at Rakwana Police Station, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said Tuesday. Helwala Langachcharige Susantha Kulatung, a father of four, was taken into custody by five officers from the Rakwana Police. “The officers allegedly began torturing the victim during his arrest and continued to do so after he was taken to their station,” AHRC said.

“On April 19 the officers warned the victim's children that they would not see their father alive again. On the same day, they also approached the victim's mother and enquired into his whereabouts - despite all evidence to suggest that he was still within their custody,” the Hong Kong based group said.

“The following day, the victim's brother visited him at the police station. Soon after leaving, the brother was informed that the victim had hung himself in his cell, despite being taller than the height of the cell itself. A post mortem was carried out on the victim, which revealed no injuries to the neck, but found, more than 107 injuries spread over most parts of the victim's body.”

“Following the lodging of an official complaint by the victim's brother and sister, an inquest into the death began at the Magistrate's Court of Ratnapura on 27 April 2005.”

“To date however, no action has been taken against the police officers, all of whom continue to work in their pervious capacity,” AHRC said.

In its urgent appeal, AHRC urged concerned people “to write to the relevant authorities listed below and demand immediate action in this case. A full and impartial investigation should compliment the case taking place in court. If persons are found guilty of the murder of the victim, they must be brought to justice for their crime.”

“Whilst investigations and the court case are taking place, full and adequate protection must be provided to the family, who have already allegedly received threats by the police. As regards those police who are allegedly involved in this case, they must be suspended from their duties until the findings are concluded. Finally, the family of the victim should be indemnified for their loss and the suffering they have endured,” AHRC said in its urgent appeal.

 

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