SRI LANKA: A patient suffering from mental illness tortured by the Polpithigama Police
Posted on June 5th, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mr. Rajapaksha Mudiyanselage Thilakoon Bandara, a resident of Kandubodagama, Ma-Eliya in the Kurunegala District, who has been tortured in detention after being illegally arrested by the Polpithigama Police. He has been charged with a fabricated offence and produced before the Mahawa Magistrates’ Court. Bandara alleges that police officers at the Polpithigama police station have behaved in an unlawful manner in the entire process of apprehension, arrest, detention, torture and fabricating false charges on an innocent man without any reason whatsoever. Bandara and his family demand justice for the illegal actions on the part of the police in violating his rights and demands justice and reparation.

Case Narrative:

Mr. Rajapaksha Mudiyanselage Thilakoon Bandara, 48 years of age, has been suffering from a mental illness for a prolonged time. He is a bachelor and lives with his sisters in their parental home in MaEliya in the Kurunegala District. Bandara engages in daily paid labour work in farming and agriculture in the village by which means he assists the household. According to relatives and neighbours’ he is a peaceful man and many in the village give him special care and attention given his ailment. He has no record of unruly behavior and has led an exemplary and peaceful life and has no criminal record.

On 2nd January 2017, he has been engaged in some work for a neighbor. After work when he was returning home Bandara has noticed a police officer approaching on a motorbike. Bandara had greeted the officer in usual manner and allowed the officer to pass him on the road. At this moment the officer has stopped the motorbike and approached Bandara on foot. Seeing the police officer approach, Bandara in sudden panic and fear, had started to run away from the approaching police officer. However, the police officer gave chase, and caught up with Bandara. No sooner the police officer caught hold of Bandara he had slapped his face hard, twice, and kicked him twice in his back. Bandara not knowing what to do had tried hard to yell out, for help and after a struggle had surrendered to the police officer. Following the scuffle, Bandara had been forcibly brought to the Polpithigama Police Station by the said police officer.

At the police station, Bandara recalls being detained inside a holding cell, for detainees. Bandara says he was not informed of the reason for his arrest at the time of arrest or at any time during detention. The officer who arrested him had later approached him and asked him whether he was under the influence of alcohol to which Bandara replied in the negative. He states that he was never made to undergo the alcohol consumption tests.

Later that night Bandara learnt that a neighbor, Jeevan was also brought to the police station by the police officer and several hours later into the night, he learnt that his own brother had visited the police station and demanded that Bandara be released. However, the officer on duty had vehemently opposed his brother’s demands and had tortured his brother, instead. His brother, who had arrived at the police station to obtain Bandara’s release, had then been detained in a holding cell in the police station overnight.

In the evening, of 3 January 2017, Bandara, his brother and the other detainee Jeevan have been brought to the Mahawa Magistrates’ Court and produced before the Magistrate who had granted them bail. Bandara had learnt that police have filed a case against him on a false charge of theft of a motor pump under case number B/14/2017. Bandara vehemently denies all such accusations. His family and relatives state that Bandara is a peace loving citizen and a patient and was never engaged in committing any such alleged neither theft nor any other crime. They further state that being a small village community, this is the first instance they came to know of the alleged theft of a motor pump and never heard of any water pump being stolen in that area. They allege that the police simply fabricated the charge against Bandara to cover up the brutal assault and the acts of torture by the police. They demand justice and reparation for the gross violation of their rights at the hands of the police officers attached to the Polpithigama Police.

Suggested Action:

Please send a letter to the authorities listed below and express your concern about this incident. Please request an immediate investigation into the allegations of abuse of an innocent person suffering from a mental illness, by the officer of the Polpithigama Police, and call for the prosecution of those found responsible. The officers involved must be subjected to internal investigations for breach of Police Departmental Orders. Kindly request the National Police Commission, and the Inspector General of Police to commence with immediate effect, a special investigation into the malpractices of those officers who abused their powers. Please note that the AHRC has written separate letters to the United Nations Chairperson of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in this regard.

To support this case, please click here:

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: A patient suffering from mental illness tortured by the Polpithigama Police
Name of Victims: Mr. Rajapaksha Mudiyanselage Thilakkoon Bandara (48) of Kandubodagama, Ma-Eliya in Kurunegala District
Alleged perpetrators: OIC and officers attached to the Polpithigama Police Station
Date of incident: 2 January 2017
Place of incident: Polpithigama Police Division

According to the information I have received Mr. Mr. Rajapaksha Mudiyanselage Thilakoon Bandara, 48 years of age, has been suffering from a mental illness for a prolonged time. He is a bachelor and lives with his sisters in their parental home in MaEliya in the Kurunegala District. Bandara engages in daily paid labour work in farming and agriculture in the village by which means he assists the household. According to relatives and neighbours’ he is a peaceful man and many in the village give him special care and attention given his ailment. He has no record of unruly behavior and has led an exemplary and peaceful life and has no criminal record.

On 2nd January 2017, he has been engaged in some work for a neighbor. After work when he was returning home Bandara has noticed a police officer approaching on a motorbike. Bandara had greeted the officer in usual manner and allowed the officer to pass him on the road. At this moment the officer has stopped the motorbike and approached Bandara on foot. Seeing the police officer approach, Bandara in sudden panic and fear, had started to run away from the approaching police officer. However, the police officer gave chase, and caught up with Bandara. No sooner the police officer caught hold of Bandara he had slapped his face hard, twice, and kicked him twice in his back. Bandara not knowing what to do had tried hard to yell out, for help and after a struggle had surrendered to the police officer. Following the scuffle, Bandara had been forcibly brought to the Polpithigama Police Station by the said police officer.

At the police station, Bandara recalls being detained inside a holding cell, for detainees. Bandara says he was not informed of the reason for his arrest at the time of arrest or at any time during detention. The officer who arrested him had later approached him and asked him whether he was under the influence of alcohol to which Bandara replied in the negative. He states that he was never made to undergo the alcohol consumption tests.

Later that night Bandara learnt that a neighbor, Jeevan was also brought to the police station by the police officer and several hours later into the night, he learnt that his own brother had visited the police station and demanded that Bandara be released. However, the officer on duty had vehemently opposed his brother’s demands and had tortured his brother, instead. His brother, who had arrived at the police station to obtain Bandara’s release, had then been detained in a holding cell in the police station overnight.

In the evening, of 3 January 2017, Bandara, his brother and the other detainee Jeevan have been brought to the Mahawa Magistrates’ Court and produced before the Magistrate who had granted them bail. Bandara had learnt that police have filed a case against him on a false charge of theft of a motor pump under case number B/14/2017. Bandara vehemently denies all such accusations. His family and relatives state that Bandara is a peace loving citizen and a patient and was never engaged in committing any such alleged theft nor any other crime. They further state that being a small village community, this is the first instance they came to know of the alleged theft of a motor pump and never heard of any water pump being stolen in that area. They allege that the police simply fabricated the charge against Bandara to cover up the brutal assault and the acts of torture by the police. They demand justice and reparation for the gross violation of their rights at the hands of the police officers attached to the Polpithigama Police.

I request the intervention of your good offices to ensure that the authorities listed below open an immediate investigation into this incident. They need to look into the allegations of violations of fundamental rights of the victim by officers of the Sri Lanka Police Department. Any officers involved should be subject to an internal investigation for breach of Police Departmental orders.

Yours sincerely,

———————
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. PujithJayasundara
Inspector General of Police
New Secretariat
Colombo 1
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
E-mail: igp@police.lk

2. Mr. Jayantha Jayasooriya PC
Attorney General
Attorney General’s Department
Colombo 12
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 436421
E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

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: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk

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: sechrc@sltnet.lk

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2017 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress