Thai deportees held incommunicado in Colombo
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 14:34 GMT]
Three Tamil asylum seekers who were returned by Thailand to Sri Lanka are being detained in Colombo and are at risk of torture or ill-treatment or disappearance, legal sources in Colombo said Wednesday. Sujith Gunapala, Sasikaran Thevarajah and Satyaphavan Aseervatham are being held incommunicado by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID).
The trio sought asylum in Thailand in June 2006 but their claims were refused by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
On 14 August 2007 they were returned to Sri lanka by Thai authorities and were arrested at Colombo airport on arrival.
The trio had served prison sentences in Thailand for illegally possessing weapons there, the sources also said.
There is serious concern that they may disappear or be subject to torture, the sources said.
In a report marking the International Day of the Disappeared, which falls on August 30, Amnesty said many people taken in for questioning by Sri Lankan authorities had subsequently disappeared.
Hundreds of people disappeared in Sri Lanka in the past year, Amnesty said this week.