SRI LANKA: TORTURE VICTIM HARASSED BY POLICE TO WITHDRAW HIS CASE SEEKS JUSTICE
Posted on June 20th, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mr. Sandaradura Nilanka de Silva. On 28 March 2016 he was illegally arrested by police officers attached to the Kalutara North Police Station. Later he was severely tortured resulting in the loss of one tooth. Nilanka was introduced to the Informant who gave his name to the Police. The Informant denied any involvement with Nilanka in committing any crime. But, the next day the Police filed a fabricated charge of possession of a prohibited drug. His remand was extended to 121 days.

The victim’s sister after release of the victim appealed to the law enforcement agencies, especially the Senior Police Authorities. They turned a blind eye to their complaints in an attempt to protect their fellow police officers. At present, Police Constable (PC) Rupasinghe 10999, and the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Mr. Ananda are repeatedly harassing the victim. They insist he withdraw his complaints against them.

Case Narrative:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mr. Sandaradura Nilanka de Silva of Jawatta, Kalutara North in the Kalutara District. Nilanka is a day labourer, on salary and a peaceful citizen with no previous criminal record.

BACKGROUND

According to Nilanka, on 28 March 2016 he was illegal arrested by 5 police officers at 6:30 p.m. at Jawatte, Kalutara North. He was waiting before returning home after work, as it was raining. The arresting officers did not give any reason for his arrest. They put him into their vehicle, forcefully, after cuffing him. While in the vehicle, he was beaten about the face and shoulders. The officer who tortured him was later identified as PC Rupasinghe 10999.

At the station he was brought to a room inside the Kalutara North Police Compound. One of his hands was cuffed and he was chained to a window. PC Rupasinghe approached him at 10:30 p.m. along with two other officers. They brought him to the water tank behind the police compound. Nilanka was forced to disrobe. He followed their orders as he was in fear of his life. He noted the officers were under the influence of alcohol. PC Rupasinghe then removed his clothes except for his underwear to protect him from the water.

PC Rupasinghe told Nilanka that he is going to torture him. Both his hands and legs were now cuffed. Nilanka screamed and pleaded with the officer not to assault him, but to no avail. A piece of wet cloth was tied over his nose, mouth and eyes. He was unable to breathe normally. Due to the obstruction of his breathing he began to convulse, finally collapsing on the ground. The questioning began by PC Rupasinghe. He asked where was the gold and money he got by robbing houses. Nilanka pleaded with the officer and said he never robbed anything. He has no gold or money. PC Rupasinghe began beating the victim with his fists and kicks to his back and chest. The officer then poured water on his head and beat him on the face. The victim noted that one of his teeth fell out as a result of the assault and dropped on the ground. He picked it up. His cuffs were removed and he was ordered to wash his head. He was tortured for about one hour.

Nilanka was screaming with pain and fear for his life. He pleaded with the officer not to kill him. In reply he said: then we will drop you in the river. In the end he was brought inside the police compound.

The police officer brought another detainee before Nilanka. He later identified his name as Himalaka Lakruwan. The officer questioned Himalaka if this was the man he reported. He stated that Nilanka is innocent and he reported his name due to fear for his life. Himalaka further stressed that Nilanka had never engaged in any crime.

Nilanka was detained in a cell inside the station. His elder sister came to visit him there. Nilanka immediately started to scream and told his sister that he was tortured by the officers. The duty officer chased his sister away. But, after 5 minutes she again approached the cell. It was then that Nilanka handed his sister his tooth that was knocked out of his mouth during the torture.

At night, Rupasinghe came to Nilanka with two packages which were covered with white paper. He questioned him whether he would like to be prosecuted on charges of illegal possession of drugs or some other charge. Nilanka pleaded with him to be released without filing any charges. The officer shouted out that he will be produced before the Courts under the charge of illegal possession of drugs.
During the day of 29th March, a person dressed in white, photographed Nilanka inside the police station.
On 30th March, at 9:30 a.m. he was produced before the Kalutara Magistrate Court. Later he learned that he was charged with illegal possession of the drug Heroin–2 grams and 50 milligrams. He was remanded. The magistrate informed him that he did not have power to grant him bail.

After 121 days in prison, on 26 July 2016 he was released on bail by the Magistrate. Before he was released, the Magistrate explained to him that the Police reported 2 grams and 50 milligrams of Heroin against him. The Government Analyst informed the Court that it was erroneously reported. Under the above mentioned circumstances the Magistrate released him on bail.

While he was in prison his health deteriorated. On 1 April 2016, Nilanka was brought to the Nagoda Teaching Hospital for treatment. The Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) examined him for police torture. The JMO informed the victim that there are a series of marks from his injuries that he sustained as a result of torture. If he was summoned by any Court he could produce these details if needed in the future.

On 22 July 2016, while Nilanka was in prison, the jailor, an officer not known to the victim, approached him. He requested him not to file any case against the police officers who tortured him and filed fabricated charges against him. Nilanka explained that he is innocent. He is suffering in prison due to the illegal activities of police officers.

Nilanka later learned that his sister, Sandaradura Anosha Priyangika de Silva of the same address, filed several complaints with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC), the National Police Commission (NPC) and several other Senior Police Officers requesting an investigation into her brother’s case.

PRESENT VIOLATIONS

After he was released from prison in early 2017, several Police Authorities and officers of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the National Police Commission (NPC) recorded Nilanka’s statements. He was questioned whether he would seek justice against the police torturers. He explained precisely the identity of the officers responsible for the violations of his rights. He said that PC Rupasinghe was responsible for all the times that he was tortured.. He spoke of his illegal arrest and the details concerning the 4 other police officers in his torture. He said that the police station OIC filed this fabricated charge to cover up the case of his torture by PC Rupasighe. So–the victim seeks justice against ALL five officers.

Meanwhile the victim’s sister stated that Mr. Ananda, the OIC of the Kalutara North Police Station approached her. He requested her help by withdrawing the case against him filed by Nilanka. PC Rupasinghe approached Nilanka and his sister on several occasions at their house. He insisted they withdraw the case against him and promised a money bribe. Sandaradura stated that presently they are being harassed by the Police due to the continuation of these cases. She appeals to the Authorities to initiate prompt, independent, impartial, and efficient investigation to stop further harassments.

Nilanka declared that he with two other innocent people were illegally arrested, detained and produced before the Courts under fabricated charges by the Police. He states that police officers violated their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. HE SEEKS JUSTICE.

Suggested Action:

Please send letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Request an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal arrest, detaining, torture and the filing of fabricated charges by the Police. Those proven to be responsible under criminal law for misusing the powers of the State should be prosecuted. All officers involved must be scrutinized by an internal investigation for breach of Police Departmental Orders. Finally, please appeal to the National Police Commissioner and the Inspector General of Police for a special investigation into the malpractice of police officers who abuse their powers.

To support this case, please click here:

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: Torture Victim Harassed by Police to Withdraw His Case Seeks Justice
Name of Victims: Mr. Sandaradura Nilanka de Silva of Jawatta, Kalutara North in the Kalutara District
Alleged perpetrators:
1) OIC of the Kalutara North Police Station
2) Five officers, including Police Constable (PC) Rupasinghe 10999, attached to the Kalutara North Police Station

Date of incident: 28 March 2017
Place of incident: Kalutara North Police Division

According to the information I Mr. Sandaradura Nilanka de Silva of Jawatta, Kalutara North in the Kalutara District. Nilanka is a day labourer, on salary and a peaceful citizen with no previous criminal record.

According to Nilanka, on 28 March 2016 he was illegal arrested by 5 police officers at 6:30 p.m. at Jawatte, Kalutara North. He was waiting before returning home after work, as it was raining. The arresting officers did not give any reason for his arrest. They put him into their vehicle, forcefully, after cuffing him. While in the vehicle, he was beaten about the face and shoulders. The officer who tortured him was later identified as PC Rupasinghe 10999.

At the station he was brought to a room inside the Kalutara North Police Compound. One of his hands was cuffed and he was chained to a window. PC Rupasinghe approached him at 10:30 p.m. along with two other officers. They brought him to the water tank behind the police compound. Nilanka was forced to disrobe. He followed their orders as he was in fear of his life. He noted the officers were under the influence of alcohol. PC Rupasinghe then removed his clothes except for his underwear to protect him from the water.

PC Rupasinghe told Nilanka that he is going to torture him. Both his hands and legs were now cuffed. Nilanka screamed and pleaded with the officer not to assault him, but to no avail. A piece of wet cloth was tied over his nose, mouth and eyes. He was unable to breathe normally. Due to the obstruction of his breathing he began to convulse, finally collapsing on the ground. The questioning began by PC Rupasinghe. He asked where was the gold and money he got by robbing houses. Nilanka pleaded with the officer and said he never robbed anything. He has no gold or money. PC Rupasinghe began beating the victim with his fists and kicks to his back and chest. The officer then poured water on his head and beat him on the face. The victim noted that one of his teeth fell out as a result of the assault and dropped on the ground. He picked it up. His cuffs were removed and he was ordered to wash his head. He was tortured for about one hour.

Nilanka was screaming with pain and fear for his life. He pleaded with the officer not to kill him. In reply he said: then we will drop you in the river. In the end he was brought inside the police compound.

The police officer brought another detainee before Nilanka. He later identified his name as Himalaka Lakruwan. The officer questioned Himalaka if this was the man he reported. He stated that Nilanka is innocent and he reported his name due to fear for his life. Himalaka further stressed that Nilanka had never engaged in any crime.

Nilanka was detained in a cell inside the station. His elder sister came to visit him there. Nilanka immediately started to scream and told his sister that he was tortured by the officers. The duty officer chased his sister away. But, after 5 minutes she again approached the cell. It was then that Nilanka handed his sister his tooth that was knocked out of his mouth during the torture.

At night, Rupasinghe came to Nilanka with two packages which were covered with white paper. He questioned him whether he would like to be prosecuted on charges of illegal possession of drugs or some other charge. Nilanka pleaded with him to be released without filing any charges. The officer shouted out that he will be produced before the Courts under the charge of illegal possession of drugs.
During the day of 29th March, a person dressed in white, photographed Nilanka inside the police station.
On 30th March, at 9:30 a.m. he was produced before the Kalutara Magistrate Court. Later he learned that he was charged with illegal possession of the drug Heroin–2 grams and 50 milligrams. He was remanded. The magistrate informed him that he did not have power to grant him bail.

After 121 days in prison, on 26 July 2016 he was released on bail by the Magistrate. Before he was released, the Magistrate explained to him that the Police reported 2 grams and 50 milligrams of Heroin against him. The Government Analyst informed the Court that it was erroneously reported. Under the above mentioned circumstances the Magistrate released him on bail.

While he was in prison his health deteriorated. On 1 April 2016, Nilanka was brought to the Nagoda Teaching Hospital for treatment. The Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) examined him for police torture. The JMO informed the victim that there are a series of marks from his injuries that he sustained as a result of torture. If he was summoned by any Court he could produce these details if needed in the future.

On 22 July 2016, while Nilanka was in prison, the jailor, an officer not known to the victim, approached him. He requested him not to file any case against the police officers who tortured him and filed fabricated charges against him. Nilanka explained that he is innocent. He is suffering in prison due to the illegal activities of police officers.

Nilanka later learned that his sister, Sandaradura Anosha Priyangika de Silva of the same address, filed several complaints with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC), the National Police Commission (NPC) and several other Senior Police Officers requesting an investigation into her brother’s case.

I request the intervention of your good offices. Ensure that the authorities listed below open an immediate investigation into the allegations of violations of fundamental rights of the victim by officers of the Sri Lankan Police Department. All officers involved should be subject to an internal investigation for breach of Police Departmental Orders.

Yours sincerely,

———————
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])

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress