Tamil prisoners stripped naked, beaten by Sinhala Guards

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 January 2009, 01:04 GMT]
Seven Tamil and Muslim suspects detained in Anuradhapura prison filed complaints at the Mannaar Court Monday that five Sinhala thugs brought from outside and about ten other prison guards stripped the seven men naked and beat them with batons inside Anuradhapura prison Saturday and Sunday, legal sources in Mannar said.

The incident occurred following the escape from Anurradhapura prison of three Tamil detainees, the victims said in their complaint.

Mannar District Court Judge, A. Judson, instructed Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Commissioner of Prisons, and the Anuradhapura Superintendent of Police to produce the prison guards responsible for the cruel and inhumane treatment of the prisoners at the next Court hearing to be held on the 2nd February, legal sources said.

The Judge also directed Anuradhapura Suprintendent of Prisons to take the victims to medical examinations by the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) and to produce the reports on the 2nd February.

The victims said in the complaint that the guards, including a senior prison officer, separated the Muslim and Tamil prisoners from the Sinhala inmates, asked the seven to strip naked and set fire to all the clothes. The naked men were then severely beaten and forced to remain in the prison without clothes.

The victims said the clothes they were wearing were borrowed from Sinhala inmates in the prison.

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that "Protected persons are entitled in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manner and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity". Complaints by the victims indicate clear violation of International coventions.

Reports from Vavuniyaa said another seven Tamil, Muslim suspects brought to the Vavuniyaa court from Anuradhapura also complained of similar inhumane and violent treatment by the Anuradhapura prison guards.

Tamil and Muslim suspects on criminal charges filed in Vavuniyaa and Mannar courts are routinely held in Anuradhapura prison for security reasons.


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