Navy apprehends refugees

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A boatload of 52 Tamil refugees, putting out from Illupakkadavai on the Mannar coast, was apprehended by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) off Naachchikudah, further north-west of Mannar on Monday, and was handed over to the Karainagar SLN camp, said sources in Mannar.

The Police produced them in the Jaffna district court today.

All but one of them were released by the Jaffna District Judge when lawyers appearing free of charge for them.

The lawyers argued that the boat people were not going to South India, but were on their way to Jaffna.

They also took up the position that detaining the group was contrary to human rights law.

The Police argued that the group was leaving the country illegally. One person from the group will continue to be under detention till the investigations on his identity are completed, said sources.


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