'Torture will persist under ER and PTA'

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 June 2001, 21:39 GMT]
nienke_kramer_260601.jpg
Ms Nienke Kramer, Associate Field Officer, UNHCR, Trincomalee.


Unless the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations are removed, torture would go on unabated in this island", said Mr. Kasinather Sivapalan, a Human Rights Activist speaking at the seminar by the Family Rehabilitation Centre to mark the United Nations' International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was observed in Trincomalee Tuesday. "The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1984 Convention Against Torture and other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment make it clear that international law bans torture and, yet throughout the world torture continues" said Ms Nienke Kramer, Associate Field Officer of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) delivering the keynote address on 'Together against Torture'.

She said: "The eradication /abolition of the practice of torture in the world was one of the major challenges taken up by the United Nations only a few years after its establishment. In order to ensure adequate protection for all persons against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, over the years the United Nations has adopted universally applicable standards. These standards were ultimately embodied in international declarations and conventions."

Attorney-at-Law Mr. Sivapalan, who addressed the seminar on 'Law and Practice of Human Rights' said: "I would say that one hundred percent cases filed in High Courts by the Attorney General solely depend on confessions to prove the accused guilt".

kasinather_sivapalan_260601.jpg
Mr.K.Sivapalan, a Human right activist and an Attorney-at-Law speaking at the seminar. (Photo: TamilNet)
"Under the normal law of the country, a confession made by accused persons cannot be used against them. This basic human right was removed with the introduction of Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations proclaimed by the head of state. Clause 60 of the Emergency Regulations and Clause 18 of the PTA Act allow the Police to use confessions of the suspects against them. The intention is to punish the accused with his or her confession alone. Hence the PTA and ER compel armed forces and police to use torture as a method for obtaining confessions. Cases filed in courts in north eastern province against members of armed forces and police are being transferred to Colombo now. We must ask the authorities to allow such cases be heard in northeast courts", he stated.

"A Human Rights National Action Plan should be formulated to agitate for the removal of Prevention of Terrorism Act, Emergency Regulations and other laws identified as violating human rights and fundamental rights of citizens, Mr.Sivapalan proposed.

Dr.Gnanagunalan who treats torture victims in Trincomalee said in his address, "The FRC╠s responsibility is to rehabilitate torture victims physically and psychologically. But it is the bounden duty of the society to absorb rehabilitated torture victims into the mainstream society. It is a pity to say here that our society is ignoring the rehabilitated torture victims. They are treated by the society as outcastes. Torture victims find it very difficult to get admission for their children in schools. Principals in some schools fear that other students will fall into trouble if they (the Principals) admit torture victims╠ children".

"Rehabilitated torture victims also find very difficult to rent outhouses. Owners of houses fear that they will be subjected to unnecessary harassment if they rent out houses to torture victims," according to Dr. Gnanagunalan.

Representatives of NGOs and students of leading schools in Trincomalee town attended the seminar.

 

Latest 15 Reports
20.07.18 22:09   Photo
New Delhi fails to update Jaffna on Palaali airport plans
19.07.18 23:22   Photo
Skulls with bullet-like holes excavated in Mannaar mass grave, women and children among victims
18.07.18 19:21   Photo
Uprooted Mu'l'lik-ku'lam Tamils adopt Ira'nai-theevu approach, enter their lands seized by SL Navy
17.07.18 21:29   Photo
Colombo steps up shadow war against NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran
16.07.18 22:48   Photo
SL Forest Department seizes agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaan-karai
15.07.18 19:14   Photo
Families of enforced disappeared vehemently oppose OMP sittings in North
14.07.18 19:35  
SL High Court in Vavuniyaa tricked again into postponing hearings on TPP case
13.07.18 23:20   Photo
NPC CM declines participation in Colombo's unilateral task force for so-called Development
12.07.18 12:22   Photo
Genocidal Sri Lanka seizes ancient coastal hamlet of Tamil-speaking aborigines in Trincomalee
11.07.18 18:20  
Collaborationist sections of TNA lose significance, Wigneswaran holds key to unified Tamil polity
10.07.18 21:53  
SL Military Intelligence recommences recruitment of notorious ex-paramilitary operatives
09.07.18 22:30   Photo
Antiquities Ordinance used to justify Sinhalicisation of 48 locations in Mullaiththeevu
08.07.18 19:06   Photo
TNPF protests against Colombo's move to militarise Jaffna Fort
07.07.18 19:56   Photo
SL Police in Champoor blocks remembrance of Tamils massacred by SL military
06.07.18 23:17  
Jaffna University silent to Colombo's pressure, motives behind Fort excavation questioned
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=6101