Torture of Tamil in custody proved in Supreme Court

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: British Refugee Council
| Date: 19971000

"The Supreme Court awarded in October Rs 100,000 compensation in a fundamental rights case of Tamil trader Ratnasabapathy Mohanadas who was detained and tortured by the security forces. The case illustrates the difficulties Tamils face in Colombo, NGOs say.

The Crimes Detection Bureau (CDB) arrested Mr Mohanadas in March 1996 and held him incommunicado for three months. He was neither informed of the reasons for the arrest nor a receipt issued to relatives acknowledging detention as required by law.

Mr Mohanadas was hung by his legs and tortured. His eye sight is affected after his head was covered with a plastic bag dipped in petrol. A confession had been obtained from him against his will, written in the Sinhala language which he does not understand. The police had filed several cases against him based on the confession.

Batticaloa farmer Parameswaran Navaratnam alleges that soldiers tied him to a jeep and dragged him to the Kommathurai Army camp in Batticaloa District, after shooting him in the leg. At the camp he suffered brutal torture for three days. Mullaitivu resident Kalimuthu Krishnaveni, currently at Colombo’s Welikade prison was arrested at Vavuniya on a visit to see her mother. She was produced before a Magistrate only after six months." ( British Refugee Council Publication, Sri Lanka Monitor, October 1997)