Army arrest figures released

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 March 1999, 11:04 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) informed the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Jaffna that 1408 persons were "legally arrested" by them in the peninsula during 1996 and 1997. According to the figures released by the SLA, 991 persons were arrested in 1996, while 417 were arrested in 1997.

However legal sources in Jaffna said that these figures were unreliable as most of the complaints received during this period were related to arrests that were unrecorded and unacknowledged by the Army.

The SLA said that the arrested persons were either released by them at the Kankesanthurai Detention Centre in Jaffna or transferred to Anuradhapura for further investigations.

However, the SLA did not reveal the number of persons released by them at the KKS detention centre.

Legal sources speculated that the SLA had released these figures in view of the visit of the team comprising officials from the Attorney General's office, Criminal Investigation Division and forensic experts, to Jaffna tomorrow to conduct preliminary investigations of the alleged graves at Chemmani.

Meanwhile the Chairman of the HRC in Jaffna, Mr. Sreetharan, said that he had received a list of persons arrested from the SLA and that it would be available to the public at the Commission's office from today.

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