Prison guards assault hunger striking detainees in Colombo
[TamilNet, Friday, 18 September 2009, 10:00 GMT]
At least 36 Tamil political prisoners who were part of a fast unto death hunger strike at the central jail in Welikada Colombo are alleged to have been severely assaulted by guards and jailers on early Friday, informed sources told TamilNet. 32 of the political prisoners who were being held in Cell Block G were transferred to the Block M, and some of them had sustained injuries in the episode, according to the sources. The detainees have been forced to stop their hunger strike.
The incident has caused much anxiety among the remaining 300 political prisoners held in the same jail and some of them are fearing for their future well being, the sources further said.
Tamil political prisoners arrested on suspicion under Emergency Regulations (ER) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), languishing in Magazine Prison and Colombo Remand Prison (CPR) for many years without being produced in the courts, launched a hunger strike from 6:00 a.m Thursday as their requests placed in previous hunger strikes had not been taken into consideration despite promises by legal authorities that their cases will be taken for trial in two months time.
A few weeks ago, in August 2009, two Tamil political prisoners have died under 'questionable circumstances' inside the Sri Lankan Central Prision at Welikada.
In 2000, 28 Tamil detainees were killed inside the Bindunuwewa detention centre.
In July 1983, 53 Tamil political prisoners were massacred inside Welikada and Magazine prisons.
28.08.09 2 Tamil political prisoners killed in Welikada