Tamil political prisoners on hunger strike

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 April 2002, 17:49 GMT]
More detainees held under the Prevention of terrorism Act (PTA) in the Kalutara prison, south of Colombo Monday joined in a hunger strike launched by one hundred forty seven Tamil suspects this weekend. The Tamil detainees begun this hunger strike Sunday demanding that the cases against them should be expedited or they be transferred to prisons closer to their home villages, prison sources said.

According to latest reports, about three hundred Tamil detainees are on hunger strike. The PTA detainees also demand that they should be released forthwith if there is insufficient evidence against them.

Sources in the attorney Generalís department said Monday that State Counsels have been instructed to withdraw all cases filed under the PTA if the prosecution solely depends on the confessions purported to have been made by the suspects.

Furthermore the State Counsels have been asked to withdraw cases filed under the PTA against Tamil civilians for failing to provide information about the movements of the LTTE cadres in their areas.

However, the Tamil legal sources said that State Counsels wait to withdraw such cases till the next date of the inquiry.

The Tamil National Alliance has told the Prime Minister to direct the authorities concerned to take steps to advance the date of inquiry of such cases enabling the suspects being freed without languishing in prisons till the next date.

During the discussion between the leadership of LTTE and Tamil National Alliance held last Friday the continuous detention of hundred of Tamil civilians under the PTA at various prisons and detention centres for several years without being brought to trial came up for intensive discussion, TNA sources said.

 

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