SRI LANKA: Innocent man illegally tortured and arrested by Padukka Police
Posted on September 20th, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION-URGENT APPEAL PROGRAMME

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that Mr. Mahinda Dammika Manawadu was illegally arrested and severely tortured by police officers attached to the Padukka Police Station. After Dammika got into a dispute with the owner of the garage where his three-wheeler was under repair, the owner requested the intervention of the police. Two police officers arrived and severely assaulted Dammika, leading to his loss of consciousness. He was then taken to the Padukka police station and put in the lock up in an unconscious state. Although an investigation was initiated into the case, it has not progressed due to political influence.

Case Narrative:

Mahinda Dammika Manawadu (34) of Siyabalanduwa, in Siyabalanduwa Divisional Secretariat in Monaragala District, is married and a father of one child. He drives his own three-wheeler for hiring.

When his three-wheeler was diagnosed with a default, he contacted a three-wheeler repairing garage at Meegoda, High-level Road, Homagama Divisional Secretariat. The owner of the garage gave him an appointment of 8 a.m. on 8 August 2017. Dammika went to the garage at the appointed time, but waited there for many hours. Finally, at 3:30 p.m., Dammika questioned how long he has to wait for his repair. The owner shouted at Dammika angrily, and they both engaged in a heated argument, as Dammika explained that he came to the place following his appointment, and he has to travel a long way to his home.

Dammika then observed the owner making a telephone call and requesting help. By listening to the conversation, Dammika learned that he was speaking to a police officer. Several minutes later, two police officers who identified themselves as attached to the Padukka Police Station arrived, and started to assault him. Along with the two police officers, the owner also assaulted him. As a result of the severe assault, Dammika lost consciousness.

Upon regaining consciousness, Dammika found himself inside the lock up of the Padukka Police Station. Later, when he started vomiting, the police officers took him to the Padukka Government Hospital. As the doctors on duty informed the police officers of the severity of the patient’s condition, the officers then took him to the Homagama Base Hospital.

While Dammika was getting treatment at the hospital, his father made a complaint to the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Colombo regarding the police torture of his son. As a part of the investigations, on two occasions Dammika’s statements were recorded by two police officers while he was in the hospital. Dammika was discharged on the evening of August 10.

On August 11, Dammika was asked to come to the Padukka Police Station for an inquiry. Though he waited there from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., the officers did not call him for any inquiry. Then he was requested to come on August 12 as well. On that day as well, he waited until 4 p.m., but the officers did not question him or make any inquiry. Due to the recurrence of severe pain, Dammika was again admitted to the Homagama Basic Hospital on the evening of August 12.

Later, one officer approached him and informed him that as a senior powerful politician who is a close subordinate of the senior cabinet minister is involved in the torture matter, they cannot make any independent investigation into the case.

Suggested Action:

Please send letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the illegal torture, arrest and detention by the Padukka police. Those found responsible must be prosecuted under criminal law. They must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of department orders. Further, please also request the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP)to have a special investigation into the malpractices of police officers.

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SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: Innocent man illegally tortured, arrested and detained by Padukka Police

Name of Victim: Mahinda Dammika Manawadu (34) of Siyabalanduwa in Siyabalanduwa Divisional Secretariat in Monaragala District

Alleged perpetrators: Police officers attached to the Padukka Police Station

Date of incident: 8 August 2017

Place of incident: Padukka Police Division

According to the information I have received Mr. Mahinda Dammika Manawadu (34) of Siyabalanduwa, in Siyabalanduwa Divisional Secretariat in Monaragala District, is married and a father of one child. He drives his own three-wheeler for hiring.

When his three-wheeler was diagnosed with a default, he contacted a three-wheeler repairing garage at Meegoda, High-level Road, Homagama Divisional Secretariat. The owner of the garage gave him an appointment of 8 a.m. on 8 August 2017. Dammika went to the garage at the appointed time, but waited there for many hours. Finally, at 3:30 p.m., Dammika questioned how long he has to wait for his repair. The owner shouted at Dammika angrily, and they both engaged in a heated argument, as Dammika explained that he came to the place following his appointment, and he has to travel a long way to his home.

Dammika then observed the owner making a telephone call and requesting help. By listening to the conversation, Dammika learned that he was speaking to a police officer. Several minutes later, two police officers who identified themselves as attached to the Padukka Police Station arrived, and started to assault him. Along with the two police officers, the owner also assaulted him. As a result of the severe assault, Dammika lost consciousness.

Upon regaining consciousness, Dammika found himself inside the lock up of the Padukka Police Station. Later, when he started vomiting, the police officers took him to the Padukka Government Hospital. As the doctors on duty informed the police officers of the severity of the patient’s condition, the officers then took him to the Homagama Base Hospital.

While Dammika was getting treatment at the hospital, his father made a complaint to the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Colombo regarding the police torture of his son. As a part of the investigations, on two occasions Dammika’s statements were recorded by two police officers while he was in the hospital. Dammika was discharged on the evening of August 10.

On August 11, Dammika was asked to come to the Padukka Police Station for an inquiry. Though he waited there from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., the officers did not call him for any inquiry. Then he was requested to come on August 12 as well. On that day as well, he waited until 4 p.m., but the officers did not question him or make any inquiry. Due to the recurrence of severe pain, Dammika was again admitted to the Homagama Basic Hospital on the evening of August 12.

Later, one officer approached him and informed him that as a senior powerful politician who is a close subordinate of the senior cabinet minister is involved in the torture matter, they cannot make any independent investigation into the case.

I request the intervention of your good offices to ensure that the authorities listed below open an immediate investigation into the violation of fundamental rights of the victim by officers of the Sri Lanka Police Department. The officers involved should also be subject to internal investigations for breach of Police Department 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)

Read this UAC online

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