SRI LANKA: INNOCENT MAN ARRESTED AND DETAINED FOR NOT PRODUCING ID
Posted on June 21st, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mr. Kaluthantri Arachchilage Shanka Sanjaya Perera (24). On 17 June 2017, returning home after work, he was illegally arrested and detained by police officers attached to the Pamunugama Police Station. He was not involved in any crime. The Police Officers stopped him and demanded to see his National Identity Card (ID). He told the officers that it is in his home just a few yards away. He asked the officers to return home with him to get his ID. Instead, the officers brought him to the Pamunugama Police Station and placed him in a cell. The next morning, 18 June, his mother and two sisters requested the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) to release him on Police Bail under the Bail Act. Mr.Perera stated that the Police acted arbitrarily–violating the Law.

Case Narrative:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mr. Kaluthantri Arachchilage Shanka Sanjaya Perera (24) of No: 324/G/85, Pubudu Gama, Uswetakeyyawa in Gampahga District. Sanjaya is single, a day laborer, on salary, working on a Building Material Construction Site in his village. He can walk back and forth to work on foot. He has two sisters. Sanjaya is responsible to care for his elderly mother and maternal grandmother.

On 17 June 2017 at 7:30 p.m., on his way back home, at the Pubudugama Highway Bridge, three police officers in uniform stopped him. They demanded to see his National Identity Card. Sanjaya explained that he is a laborer by profession, working on the Building Material Construction Site at a very close distance. So, he did not bring his ID with him this morning. Then he asked the officers to accompany him home to pick up his ID.

The officers refused his request. He was ordered him to stay with them. Meanwhile Sanjaya tried to communicate with several pedestrians passing by. He asked them to give a message to his mother to bring his ID. He was prevented from talking to them as well. Sanjaya was then brought to the Pamunugama Police Station. At the station he was able to convey his message to his mother. After observing his telephone conversation, the Police ordered him to hand over his mobile phone, wallet and other belongings. He was then detained in a cell.

At 9:30 p.m. one of his sisters and his brother-in-law visited him at the police station. They brought him a bottle of water and a mosquito coil. They requested the officers on duty to release their brother as he is innocent. They were told to return the next morning.

On 18 June, 6 a.m. he was released from his cell. Officers informed him that they were recording a statement that he was brought to the police station as he failed to produced his ID for the officers. Sanjaya is not aware of the content of the statement. It was neither explained to him nor was he allowed to read it. At 7:45 a.m. some officers photographed him several times and he was fingerprinted. Sanjaya was in fear of his life. He was in fear of further harassment as well. He could only simply follow their orders.

His sister, K A Samanthi Shamali and his mother entered the police station and spoke directly to the Officer-in-Charge of the police station. The OIC justified the arrest. They can arrest anyone who does not produce his ID to the officers. The sister refuted the officer. The Police have not shown any reasonable doubt with credible evidence or any involvement in a crime or attempt to commit a crime by her brother. This makes the officers’ acts unlawful. Not answering the sister, the OIC requested both mother and sister to record their signatures on a Police Bail Bond under the Bail Act. Sanjaya was released.

Sanjaya declared that he was illegally arrested and detained by the Police. He states that police officers violated his 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 and detention 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: INNOCENT MAN ARRESTED AND DETAINED FOR NOT PRODUCING ID

Name of Victims: Mr. Kaluthantri Arachchilage Shanka Sanjaya Perera (24) of No: 324/G/85, Pubudu Gama, Uswetakeyyawa in Gampahga District
Alleged perpetrators:

1) OIC of the Pamunugama Police Station.
2) PC 19035–another police officer and an officer representing the Civil Defense Force, all attached to the Pamunugama Police Station

Date of incident: 17 June 2017
Place of incident: Pamunugama Police Division

According to the information I have received Mr. Kaluthantri Arachchilage Shanka Sanjaya Perera (24) of No: 324/G/85, Pubudu Gama, Uswetakeyyawa in Gampahga District. Sanjaya is single, a day laborer, on salary, working on a Building Material Construction Site in his village. He can walk back and forth to work on foot. He has two sisters. Sanjaya is responsible to care for his elderly mother and maternal grandmother.

On 17 June 2017 at 7:30 p.m., on his way back home, at the Pubudugama Highway Bridge, three police officers in uniform stopped him. They demanded to see his National Identity Card. Sanjaya explained that he is a laborer by profession, working on the Building Material Construction Site at a very close distance. So, he did not bring his ID with him this morning. Then he asked the officers to accompany him home to pick up his ID.

The officers refused his request. He was ordered him to stay with them. Meanwhile Sanjaya tried to communicate with several pedestrians passing by. He asked them to give a message to his mother to bring his ID. He was prevented from talking to them as well. Sanjaya was then brought to the Pamunugama Police Station. At the station he was able to convey his message to his mother. After observing his telephone conversation, the Police ordered him to hand over his mobile phone, wallet and other belongings. He was then detained in a cell.

At 9:30 p.m. one of his sisters and his brother-in-law visited him at the police station. They brought him a bottle of water and a mosquito coil. They requested the officers on duty to release their brother as he is innocent. They were told to return the next morning.

On 18 June, 6 a.m. he was released from his cell. Officers informed him that they were recording a statement that he was brought to the police station as he failed to produced his ID for the officers. Sanjaya is not aware of the content of the statement. It was neither explained to him nor was he allowed to read it. At 7:45 a.m. some officers photographed him several times and he was fingerprinted. Sanjaya was in fear of his life. He was in fear of further harassment as well. He could only simply follow their orders.

His sister, K A Samanthi Shamali and his mother entered the police station and spoke directly to the Officer-in-Charge of the police station. The OIC justified the arrest. They can arrest anyone who does not produce his ID to the officers. The sister refuted the officer. The Police have not shown any reasonable doubt with credible evidence or any involvement in a crime or attempt to commit a crime by her brother. This makes the officers’ acts unlawful. Not answering the sister, the OIC requested both mother and sister to record their signatures on a Police Bail Bond under the Bail Act. Sanjaya was released.

Sanjaya declared that he was illegally arrested and detained by the Police. He states that police officers violated his fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. HE SEEKS JUSTICE.

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])

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One Response to “SRI LANKA: INNOCENT MAN ARRESTED AND DETAINED FOR NOT PRODUCING ID”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    The DIVIDE & RULE people are hard at work, dividing the People of Lanka !

    The latest is that the POLICE are being set up against the PEOPLE.

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