Vavuniya High Court last Tuesday discharged two young girls from
Jaffna charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), on
the ground that the Police had obtained confessions from them
under duress. Mariyathas Mary Sharmila,18, of Alvai north and
Shanmugam Sharmila, 21, of Sivankoviladi, Madduvil south told
the court that they were severely tortured by male Police
personnel during their detention.
The evidence given by
the two girls was corroborated by the reports of the Judicial
Medical Officers who examined them as directed by the courts.
Mariyathas Sharmila and Shanmugam Sharmila were charged under
the PTA for alleged links with the Liberation Tigers and for
allegedly being involved in unlawful activities against the Sri
Lankan state and the Sri Lankan Army.
Mariyathas Mary Sharmila was arrested on 20.12.1999 by the
Counter-Subversive Unit of the Kankesanthurai (KKS) Police in
Jaffna. The Police interrogated her when she was detained at the
KKS police station. Later she was produced in Mallakam
magistrate's court. Mariyathas Sharmila was examined by the
Colombo Judicial Medical Officer on the orders of the court.
The KKS Police arrested Shanmugam Sharmila on 18.11.1999. The
Police interrogated her when being detained at the KKS police
station. Later she was produced in Anuradhapura Magistrate's
Court. The Colombo Judicial Medical Officer examined her on the
Both women were then sent to the Kalutara prison, south of
When the cases against the two women came up for hearing before
the Vavuniya High Court Judge Mr.N.Yogasigamany on Tuesday,
medical examination reports of the Judicial Medical Officers
Both girls gave evidence. In their evidence they said that the
Police subjected them to severe torture. Male police personnel
tortured them during their detention at the police stations.
The court was informed that the medical reports submitted by the
Judicial Medical Officers had also corroborated the evidence of
the accused women.
The High Court Judge held that the confessions of the accused
women were not obtained according to the Law prescribed for the
purpose and that it had been proved that the accused women made
those confessions under duress. As such the court was not in a
position to accept the confessions purported to have been made
by the accused women, the Judge said.
Meanwhile the Vavuniya High Court Judge discharged 11 persons
charged under the PTA including the two accused women on Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday.