Police tortured say young Jaffna women
[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 December 2000, 17:20 GMT]
The Vavuniya High Court last Tuesday discharged two young girls from Jaffna charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), on the ground that the Police had obtained confessions from them under duress. Mariyathas Mary Sharmila,18, of Alvai north and Shanmugam Sharmila, 21, of Sivankoviladi, Madduvil south told the court that they were severely tortured by male Police personnel during their detention.
The evidence given by the two girls was corroborated by the reports of the Judicial Medical Officers who examined them as directed by the courts. Mariyathas Sharmila and Shanmugam Sharmila were charged under the PTA for alleged links with the Liberation Tigers and for allegedly being involved in unlawful activities against the Sri Lankan state and the Sri Lankan Army.
Mariyathas Mary Sharmila was arrested on 20.12.1999 by the Counter-Subversive Unit of the Kankesanthurai (KKS) Police in Jaffna. The Police interrogated her when she was detained at the KKS police station. Later she was produced in Mallakam magistrate's court. Mariyathas Sharmila was examined by the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer on the orders of the court.
The KKS Police arrested Shanmugam Sharmila on 18.11.1999. The Police interrogated her when being detained at the KKS police station. Later she was produced in Anuradhapura Magistrate's Court. The Colombo Judicial Medical Officer examined her on the court order.
Both women were then sent to the Kalutara prison, south of Colombo.
When the cases against the two women came up for hearing before the Vavuniya High Court Judge Mr.N.Yogasigamany on Tuesday, medical examination reports of the Judicial Medical Officers were submitted.
Both girls gave evidence. In their evidence they said that the Police subjected them to severe torture. Male police personnel tortured them during their detention at the police stations.
The court was informed that the medical reports submitted by the Judicial Medical Officers had also corroborated the evidence of the accused women.
The High Court Judge held that the confessions of the accused women were not obtained according to the Law prescribed for the purpose and that it had been proved that the accused women made those confessions under duress. As such the court was not in a position to accept the confessions purported to have been made by the accused women, the Judge said.
Meanwhile the Vavuniya High Court Judge discharged 11 persons charged under the PTA including the two accused women on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.