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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Torture and ill-treatment in army and police custody widespread, says Amnesty
On 17 June 1998, Amnesty International issued its annual report, covering events during 1997. The report can be found at http://www.amnesty.org . Amnesty declared that torture and ill-treatment in Sri Lankan army and police custody were widespread:
"Full implementation of safeguards for the welfare of detainees remained a concern. There were reports of the use of unauthorized places of detention, particularly in the north and east but also in Colombo. Some of them were run by Tamil armed groups fighting alongside the security forces.
Torture and ill-treatment in army and police custody were widespread. Kumaru Selvaratnam was arrested in March on suspicion of involvement with the LTTE. During the first eight days of his detention at Slave Island police station in Colombo, he was assaulted with a broomstick. He suffered injury to the testicles as a result of which they had to be surgically removed. In Jaffna, torture was widespread. Methods included near-suffocation with plastic bags filled with petrol; beatings with wire and plastic pipes; electric shocks; and suspension by the thumbs or ankles. The Supreme Court awarded compensation to a 14-year-old girl who had been tortured by police in Hungama in 1995. No prosecutions were initiated under the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act..."
However the record shows that Sri Lanka's torture of Tamils is not something new and has been carried out in a systematic fashion for more than twenty years - with the explicit or implicit support of successive Sinhala governments that have ruled the country during this period. Appeals by Amnesty and other non governmental organisations have not inhibited the Sri Lanka authorities from carrying on 'business as usual'. As always, the record speaks:
- Sri Lanka compelled to acknowledge torture is a problem
- Torture of Tamil in custody proved in Supreme Court
- Torture, Death & Disappearances of Tamils continue unabated - September 1997
- Illegal arrest and torture of Tamils continue in Colombo and the South
- Mass arrests and torture of Tamils in Colombo...
- Arrests and torture of Tamils - June, July 1997 - continuing impunity
- "Sri Lanka torture includes electric shock" says US State Department Report
- Tortured Tamil bodies float in Bolgoda lake in Colombo
- Tamil detainees systematically tortured -1991
- Detention without Trial, Torture - 1988
- Arbitrary killings and torture - 1985
- Amnesty File on Sri Lanka Torture - October 1985
- Amnesty confronts Sri Lanka's denial of torture - December 1985
- Case Study of Torture, Sri Lanka Style - 1984
- Torture - almost universal practise of Sri Lankan authorities says ICJ
- Tamil resistance met with Sri Lankan state terrorism - 1979