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TrxiZ

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SRI LANKA: An innocent man was illegally arrested, tortured and laid with fabricated charges by the Chilaw police

14 May 2012
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SRI LANKA: An innocent man was illegally arrested, tortured and laid with fabricated charges by the Chilaw police

ISSUES: Illegal arrest; arbitrary detention; torture; impunity; rule of law
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. N A Aruna Roshantha (42) of Mugunuwatawana, Chilaw in the district of Puttalam was illegally arrested, detained, brutally tortured and laid with fabricated charges. On 24 March 2012, he returned home for lunch as it was his custom. When returning to work he was approached by an officer who insisted Aruna to show the location of the place where illicit liquor was being manufactured. When he denied any knowledge of this the officer started beating him. He was hospitalised at the Chilaw Base Hospital where he made a complaint to the police about his ill-treatment but as is customary in Sri Lanka no action has been taken. This case is yet another illustration of the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in the country.

CASE NARRATIVE:
Mr. N A Aruna Roshantha (42) of Mugunuwatawana, Chilaw in the district of Puttalam was illegally arrested, detained, brutally tortured and laid with fabricated charges. Aruna is married, the father of one child and a labourer in a brick kiln in the area. On 24 March 2012, at lunch time as usual he went home for his meal and on his way he was having a chat with people in a neighbouring house as next work shift started at 2.30pm. He was about to chew some betel and Erica nuts with the people whom he had known for a long time. It was then that he noted a uniformed police officer approaching him who asked him to come to the jeep parked nearby.

When Aruna followed the officer he saw the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Chilaw Police Station Manoj Ranagala, getting down from the jeep and coming to him. Then the OIC questioned Aruna whether he knows a person called Sebastian of the Watawana area and any place where people were brewing illicit liquor. Aruna responded that he did not know of any such place or person.

Then, suddenly OIC Manoj started beating Aruna and threatened him all the while repeatedly asking the same questions. Despite his shock and pain Aruna continued to deny any knowledge of what the OIC was asking him. Then OIC Manoj brought a black cable from the police-jeep with which he started to beat Aruna. OIC Manoj ordered Aruna to get into the jeep parked close to the house. Even though Aruna explained that he had to report for the next shift his plea was ignored and he was mercilessly pushed into the vehicle. Aruna noted that the vehicle stopped at an isolated place. Then, OIC Manoj ordered Aruna to remove all his clothes and started to beat Aruna again with the same black cable. Aruna appealed to the OIC not to beat him and told the officers present that he had never committed any crime and he did not know any answers to their questioned. Later, OIC Manoj stopped a lorry and placed Aruna inside it. Aruna was publicly exhibited in the same village as a suspect and at 8pm he was brought to the Chilaw Police Station.

At the police station officers on duty brought 5 empty bottles to Aruna and him to put finger prints on the bottles. Aruna refused to touch the bottles and pleaded the officers not to put him into any further trouble but the officers threatened him with further torture. When Aruna refused to touch the bottles the officers forcefully pushed his fingers on them. Then at 12 pm police officers told Aruna that he could go home. In the early morning of 27 March Aruna was admitted to the Chilaw Base Hospital for treatments as his condition worsened. He was treated at the hospital for a period of four days and discharged on 30 March. While he was in the hospital an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) came to him and recorded a statement on the assault by the police officers. Aruna states that still he does not know of any success on this inquiry.

Aruna and his family members state that Aruna's basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of Sri Lanka were violated. They further state that the law enforcement agency of the country has not initiated any efficient, independent and credible inquiry unto the violation of his rights. He states that justice has been denied and perpetrators are not being punished.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has reported innumerable cases of torturing innocent by the Sri Lankan police which are illegal under international and local law which have taken place at different Police Station in the country over the past few years.

The State of Sri Lanka sign and ratified the CAT on 3 January 1994. Following state obligations Sri Lanka adopted Act number 22 of 1994 the law adopted by the Sri Lankan parliament making torture a crime that can be punishable for minimum seven years and not less than ten years on being proven guilty. The Attorney General of Sri Lanka is suppose to file indictments in the case where credible evidence were found on torturing people by state officers.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention, torturing by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of a state. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the departmental orders as issued by the police department. Further, please also request the NPC and the IGP to have a special investigation into the malpractices of the police officers for abusing the state officers' powers.


you can help sending a letter following this link:
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-076-2012



Please note that the AHRC has also written a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or PuSAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: An innocent man was illegally arrested, tortured and laid with fabricated charges by the Chilaw police

Name of the victim: Mr. N A Aruna Roshantha (42) of Mugunuwatawana, Chilaw in the district of Puttalam
Alleged perpetrator: OIC Manoj Ranagala of Chilaw Police station
Date of incident: 24 March 2012
Place of incident: Chilaw Police Station

I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Mr. N A Aruna Roshantha (42) of Mugunuwatawana, Chilaw in the district of Puttalam. Aruna was illegally arrested, detained, brutally tortured and laid with fabricated charges. Aruna is married, the father of one child and a labourer in a brick kiln in the area. On 24 March 2012, at lunch time as usual he went home for his meal and on his way he was having a chat with people in a neighbouring house as next work shift started at 2.30pm. He was about to chew some betel and Erica nuts with the people whom he had known for a long time. It was then that he noted a uniformed police officer approaching him who asked him to come to the jeep parked nearby.

When Aruna followed the officer he saw the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Chilaw Police Station Manoj Ranagala, getting down from the jeep and coming to him. Then the OIC questioned Aruna whether he knows a person called Sebastian of the Watawana area and any place where people were brewing illicit liquor. Aruna responded that he did not know of any such place or person.

Then, suddenly OIC Manoj started beating Aruna and threatened him all the while repeatedly asking the same questions. Despite his shock and pain Aruna continued to deny any knowledge of what the OIC was asking him. Then OIC Manoj brought a black cable from the police-jeep with which he started to beat Aruna. OIC Manoj ordered Aruna to get into the jeep parked close to the house. Even though Aruna explained that he had to report for the next shift his plea was ignored and he was mercilessly pushed into the vehicle. Aruna noted that the vehicle stopped at an isolated place. Then, OIC Manoj ordered Aruna to remove all his clothes and started to beat Aruna again with the same black cable. Aruna appealed to the OIC not to beat him and told the officers present that he had never committed any crime and he did not know any answers to their questioned. Later, OIC Manoj stopped a lorry and placed Aruna inside it. Aruna was publicly exhibited in the same village as a suspect and at 8pm he was brought to the Chilaw Police Station.

At the police station officers on duty brought 5 empty bottles to Aruna and him to put finger prints on the bottles. Aruna refused to touch the bottles and pleaded the officers not to put him into any further trouble but the officers threatened him with further torture. When Aruna refused to touch the bottles the officers forcefully pushed his fingers on them. Then at 12 pm police officers told Aruna that he could go home. In the early morning of 27 March Aruna was admitted to the Chilaw Base Hospital for treatments as his condition worsened. He was treated at the hospital for a period of four days and discharged on 30 March. While he was in the hospital an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) came to him and recorded a statement on the assault by the police officers. Aruna states that still he does not know of any success on this inquiry.

Aruna and his family members state that his basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of Sri Lanka were violated. They further state that the law enforcement agency of the country has not initiated any efficient, independent and credible inquiry unto the violation of his rights. He states that justice has been denied and perpetrators are not being punished.

I request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities of Sri Lanka to instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention, torture by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those to be proven responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful prosecution. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the departmental orders as issued by the police department.

Yours sincerely,

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Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission ([email protected])nishment on this regard.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 23:18:36 PM by TrxiZ »