Legal action against Colombo for torture imminent: TAG

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 July 2011, 01:13 GMT]
Tamil prisoners who have managed to reach the West, by either bribing their way out, or released due to lack of evidence after being incarcerated and tortured inside Sri Lanka's Boosa, Magazine and Welikade prisons, have been providing details of torture suffered under Sri Lanka's intelligence wing of the military. Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group, said Sunday that a project documenting torture and white-van abductions, supported by a list of nearly 30 affidavits, video depositions, and graphical footage of the abduction-torture sequence adopted in Colombo and in Vavuniyaa, Trincomalee internment camps, are near completion and that a Europe-based legal action is imminent.

PDF IconUN Convention Against Torture (CAT)
"Several well-known political detainees, who have been given asylum by democracies in the West, are still to speak-out on torture suffered while in prison. Absence of witness protection statutes, and near total impunity of Sri Lanka's military apparatus in 'framing' disappearances, and death-threats to relatives still living in Sri Lanka, have made many of the tortured to maintain silence abroad," spokesperson for TAG said.

"But with many ex-prisoners speaking out after vulnerable relatives have found safety elsewhere, and conditions inside the prison leaking out assisted by corrupt prison officials, there is overwhelming evidence now available to create legal actions. We expect many more torture-victims to come forward," the spokesperson added.

Roy Samathanam, 40, a Canadian held in Sri Lanka's Welikade prison for three years under forced confession, and returned to Canada in April, said in an interview to National Post, of the torture and extortion activities against Tamils taking place in Sri Lanka's jails.

Another victim, who wants to remain anonymous until he is successful in obtaining asylum in Brazil, told TamilNet that he was arrested in June 2008, tortured by the Harbor Police in Colombo and was beaten up by Sinhala inmates. He added that "due to the serious nature of the threats against me and my family I am compelled to seek asylum in Brazil."


External Links:
UN: Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
NP: Canadian detainee wants probe into detention and alleged torture in Sri Lanka
Cornell: 18 U.S.C.§ 2340A. Torture
Cornell: Chapter 113C—Torture
UN: Special Rapporteur on Torture Concludes Visit to Sri Lanka

 

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