PTA detainees complain to HC Judge and MP

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 January 2002, 21:45 GMT]
Tamil detainees held under the Prevent of Terrorism Act (PTA) appealed to the Eastern High Court Judge Mr.J.Visvanathan and Trincomalee district parliamentarian, Mr.R.Sampanthan to take steps not to send them back to prisons at Boosa, Kalutara and Anuradhapura. The detainees were taken to Trincomalee prison to be produced in courts Monday and requested that they not be sent back to prisons in the south of the country.

High Court Judge Mr.Visvanathan and Parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan Monday attended 'Thai Pongal' celebrations held in Trincomalee prison premises under the auspices of the Prison Hindu Officers Union. Thereafter both personalities addressed the prisoners and detainees kept in Trincomalee prison.

When the inmates were allowed to express their grievances, six Tamil detainees held under PTA spoke to the High Court Judge and parliamentarian. They said that though they were all from Trincomalee district, the have been arrested and kept in detention under the PTA and Emergency Regulations (ER) at Boosa, Kalutara, and Anuradhapura prisons. They are taken to Trincomalee when cases against them are taken up for inquiry, but returned back to the prisons in south.

Mr.Sampanthan told the detainees that they would take up this matter with the higher authorities. He said: "Representations had been made to the Prime Minister last week requesting him to take steps to release all detainees kept in remand for more than three months, and those who have been indicted only on their confessions to prove their guilt."

"We would continue our agitation in this regard," he added.

When High Court Judge Mr.Visvanathan and parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan were about to leave the prisons, a prison bus arrived with about ten PTA detainees including two women.

They also pleaded with Mr.Sampanthan to take immediate steps not to send them back to Boosa, Kalutara and Anuradhapura prisons. Of the ten, one detainee said he was a Sinhalese and another said he was a Muslim. Both were also arrested and detained under the PTA.

Last week twenty two PTA detainees were taken to Trincomalee from prisons in south. The appeal by defense attorneys to detain them in Trincomalee prison enabling their parents to visit them on 'Thai Pongal' day was turned down by the Trincomalee Magistrate.


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