PTA detainees released - no evidence
[TamilNet, Friday, 24 November 2000, 14:02 GMT]
Batticaloa District Court on Wednesday released two young men who had been tortured after being detained under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for nearly 9 months with out any charges being filed against them.
Thevakumar Kanakaratnam,22, of Manchanthoduvai was arrested on 5 February this year by paramilitaries of the 'Razeek Group', which operates as an auxillary force of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). Jeganathan Theivanayakam, 24, of Vellaveli was arrested by the SLA intelligence unit on 25 March.
The youths were handed over to the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Police after being severely assaulted. The youths said that they were assaulted also in the police custody. The youths were transferred to the Batticaloa Prison and later to Kalutara Prison, south of Colombo.
A complaint was filed in the Batticaloa District Court by the House of Human Rights, a local non-governmental organisation, seeking a court order to release the youths. The case was taken up for hearing on Wednesday, 22 November before the Additional District Judge Abdul Gafoor. Attorney-at Law, S.Sivanathan appeared on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The State Council told the courts that offices of the Attorney General had informed that there were no evidence to indict Thevakumar Kanakaratnam and Jeganathan Theivanayakam. The Judge reprimanded police for detaining the youths who had not committed any offences and ordered the immediate release of the young men.