SRI LANKA: An innocent man tortured by Katugastota police
Posted on June 29th, 2016

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-072-2016

29 June 2016
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SRI LANKA: An innocent man tortured by Katugastota police

ISSUES: torture ; illegal arrest; detention; impunity; rule of law; justice
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Niroshan Chamara Rupasinghe of the Kandy District was tortured by two traffic police officers attached to the Katugastota Police Station on 13th November 2015. Later he was treated at the Kandy Teaching Hospital. Police have filed fabricated charges against the victim alleging he had obstructed the police in discharging their duties. He was remanded by the Magistrate of Kandy. The victim has complained to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission. He is seeking investigation and prosecution of those who are responsible for breaking the law, torturing him and violating his rights. His relatives are demanding immediate justice. This case illustrates the collapse of the rule of law in the country.

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to information received by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Mr. Niroshan Chamara Rupasinghe of Kandy District was tortured by the police officers attached to the Katugastota Police Station on 13th November 2016.

Niroshan was driving his car, No: CP- CAG 0683, along with two friends. He was asked to stop by two traffic policemen at the Nitthawala Junction, who were on duty. He obeyed the orders and stopped his car just a few feet from where the two police officers were. He waited about two minutes, thinking that the officers would come to question him. However, what happened was strange. One of the officers opened the car door, dragged him out and shouted when you are asked to stop, can’t you come out of your car, come to us and produced your licence.” Before he could answer, the two officers started assaulting him. The injuries he suffered indicate the extent of the severity of the attack. He was hit mainly on the head, sustaining severe head injuries. His two friends were also beaten by other police officers.

However, Niroshan’s friends were able to rush him to the Kandy Teaching Hospital for emergency medical treatment for severe hemorrhaging from the head. Hospital authorities admitted him to ward No: 10, later transferred to ward no 1. While he was receiving treatment the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) examined him and recorded his injuries.

When Niroshan and his friends got out of the car, the police officers forcibly took away his car keys. This made it impossible for them to take him to hospital by car. They had to call a three-wheeler passing by to take them to the hospital.

Meanwhile Niroshan learned that the police officers had damaged the windscreen and the back window of his car plus further damage to the car as it was taken to the Katugastota Police Station.

Then, the police officers filed a case against Niroshan and his two friends, alleging that they had tried to assault the officers. Niroshan and his friends vehemently deny the accusation.

The police have filed a ‘B’ report before the Magistrate of Kandy alleging some offences caused by Niroshan and others. Details of the offences have not yet been made known to Niroshan. On 14th of November the Magistrate visited him in hospital and ordered him to be remanded. Thereafter, both his legs were chained to the bed despite his severe injuries. On 5th of December the Magistrate released Niroshan on bail.

The victim has complained to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) seeking investigation and prosecution of those who are responsible for breaking the law, torturing him and violating his rights.

Family members of the victim state that his fundamental rights were violated by the Sri Lankan state’s officers. They demand for justice for their relative.
SUGGESTED ACTION:

For several years we have been making representations on behalf of the victims of torture and ill- treatment. We have supplied details on how the police behaved in circumstances like the above. Assaulting people for no reason and fabricating charges against them is quite a common occurrence.
No country should tolerate this cruel practice. It must take extraordinary steps to bring such practices to an end.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, addressed the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council. It was the occasion of the passing of the resolution on Sri Lanka. As a result, the government will issue instructions to the police and the military to stop the practice of torture and sexual abuses. Any person who engages in such practices would be dealt with according to the law. It is hoped that respected law enforcement agencies of Sri Lanka will ensure that such instructions are issued as soon as possible while introducing a procedure for immediate and effective action. Officers, who violate the law by practicing torture, must be prosecuted under Act No: 22 of 1994. It is the duty of the Inspector General of Police to investigate any such alleged incidents. It is the duty of the Attorney General to prosecute the wrongdoers who carry out torture.

Please write to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Request an immediate investigation into the allegations of torture by the police, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the law. Officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for breach of department orders as issued by the police department.

The AHRC will also write a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in this regard.
To support this case, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: An innocent man tortured by Katugastota police

Name of Victim: Mr. Niroshan Chamara Rupasinghe
Alleged perpetrators: Officers attached to the Katugastota Police Station
Date of incident: 13 November 2015
Place of incident: Katugastota Police Division

According to the information I have received Mr. Niroshan Chamara Rupasinghe of Kandy District was tortured by the police officers attached to the Katugastota Police Station on 13th November 2016.

Niroshan was driving his car, No: CP- CAG 0683, along with two friends. He was asked to stop by two traffic policemen at the Nitthawala Junction, who were on duty. He obeyed the orders and stopped his car just a few feet from where the two police officers were. He waited about two minutes, thinking that the officers would come to question him. However, what happened was strange. One of the officers opened the car door, dragged him out and shouted when you are asked to stop, can’t you come out of your car, come to us and produced your licence.” Before he could answer, the two officers started assaulting him. The injuries he suffered indicate the extent of the severity of the attack. He was hit mainly on the head, sustaining severe head injuries. His two friends were also beaten by other police officers.

However, Niroshan’s friends were able to rush him to the Kandy Teaching Hospital for emergency medical treatment for severe hemorrhaging from the head. Hospital authorities admitted him to ward No: 10, later transferred to ward no 1. While he was receiving treatment the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) examined him and recorded his injuries.

When Niroshan and his friends got out of the car, the police officers forcibly took away his car keys. This made it impossible for them to take him to hospital by car. They had to call a three-wheeler passing by to take them to the hospital.

Meanwhile Niroshan learned that the police officers had damaged the windscreen and the back window of his car plus further damage to the car as it was taken to the Katugastota Police Station.

Then, the police officers filed a case against Niroshan and his two friends, alleging that they had tried to assault the officers. Niroshan and his friends vehemently deny the accusation.

The police have filed a ‘B’ report before the Magistrate of Kandy alleging some offences caused by Niroshan and others. Details of the offences have not yet been made known to Niroshan. On 14th of November the Magistrate visited him in hospital and ordered him to be remanded. Thereafter, both his legs were chained to the bed despite his severe injuries. On 5th of December the Magistrate released Niroshan on bail.

The victim has complained to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) seeking investigation and prosecution of those who are responsible for breaking the law, torturing him and violating his rights.

Family members of the victim state that his fundamental rights were violated by the Sri Lankan state’s officers. They demand for justice for their relative.

I request your intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of torture. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for breach of department orders issued by the police department.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

  1. Mr. Pujith Jayasundara
    Inspector General of Police
    New Secretariat
    Colombo 1
    SRI LANKA
    Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
    E-mail: [email protected]
  2. Mr. Jayantha Jayasooriya PC
    Attorney General
    Attorney General’s Department
    Colombo 12
    SRI LANKA
    Fax: +94 11 2 436421
    E-mail: [email protected]
  3. Secretary
    National Police Commission
    3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers
    109 Galle Road
    Colombo 03
    SRI LANKA
    Tel: +94 11 2 395310
    Fax: +94 11 2 395867
    E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
  4. Secretary
    Human Rights Commission
    No. 36, Kynsey Road
    Colombo 8
    SRI LANKA
    Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806
    Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470
    E-mail: [email protected]

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission ([email protected])

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