Prison conditions prompt youths' release from protective custody

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 May 2007, 04:22 GMT]
Forty-five youths, placed in the protective custody in Jaffna prison for fear of death by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and the SLA-backed paramilitaries, were produced at Jaffna Magistrate Courts Thursday, and are to be released due deteriorating hygenic conditions in the prison premises, sources in Jaffna said. Magistrate R.T. Wicknarajah allowed 34 of them surety bail of a relative.

Nine did not want to leave the safety of the prison and two were not allowed bail as there were police cases filed against them.

Deteriorating health standards, danger of infections and lack of space prompted the majority of those in custody to risk danger and leave the prison on bail.

More are expected to seek release from the Jaffna prison protective custody in the Magistrates Courts of Point Pedro, Chaavakachchaeri, Mallaakam and Kayts, according to legal sources in Jaffna.

The proposal to open a special prison for those in protective custody in Thellippa'lai in the SLA High Security Zone did not materialise due to the reluctance of the SLA to provide the needed security measures, legal sources said.


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