SRI LANKA: Human Rights Defender illegally arrested for allegedly participating in Protest against Police
Posted on October 6th, 2017

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION-URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding Mrs. Kariyawasam Aarachchilage Ramani Kusumalatha (46), a resident of the Kantale Police Division. She was well reputed as a human rights defender in the area. On 13 June, Kusumalatha assisted three torture victims at the Kantale Base Hospital. Then she asked the Police Officers not to beat those who were protesting against Police who tortured victims. She was able to point out that human rights were being violated by the Police who used force and beat the protestors in public. Finally, the Police illegally arrested her, detained her for 4 hours at the Kantale Police Station and later produced her in front of the Kantale Magistrate Court on fabricated charges.

SHE DEMANDS JUSTICE.

Case Narrative:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding Mrs. Kariyawasam Aarachchilage Ramani Kusumalatha (46) of No: 247/C, Trincomalee Road, Kantale in the Trincomalee District. Kusumalatha is one of the most active civil society activists in the village. She is a member of several civil society organizations and has participated in many demonstrations in the area and nationwide. She demanded protection for human rights and the civil liberties of the people. She is widely known for her social work and is a law-abiding citizen of Trincomalee.

Kusumalatha learned in the evening of 3 June 2017 about three young persons of the village. They were tortured, IN PUBLIC, by Kantale Police Station Officers. She further learned that the victims had to be admitted to the Kantale Base Hospital for treatment. Kusumalatha immediately went to the hospital and visited the patients facilitated by the medical staff.

Meanwhile, she learned that large gatherings of people surrounded the hospital and raised their voices in support of the three young boys—now patients. They demanded that Hospital Authorities assist the victims. They demanded that the Police Officers responsible for the torture be arrested.

She observed that large numbers of Police reported to the hospital premises, preparing to use force. She noted that Senior Police Officials were positioned among the ordinary Policemen. Kusumalatha, approached the Senior Police officers directly. She did not approve their move to assault the protestors and demanded that they listen peacefully to the protestors. She raised her voice to resolve the problem by providing JUSTICE. In this way, she would be able to stop a massive human rights violation from happening.

Several days later, on 23 June, a team of 5 Police Officers went to her home and questioned her as to why she obstructed their duties. She was arrested and brought to the Kantale Police Station. After a detention of 4 hours, she was produced before the Kantale Magistrate and granted bail.

She learned that the Police filed fabricated charges against her for obstructing their work. Kusumalatha states that she was illegally arrested and held in a cell by Kantale Police, thereby violating her fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Suggested Action:

Please send letters to the Authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case. Request an immediate investigation into the allegation of illegal arrest by Police. Under Criminal Law, prosecute those proved to be responsible for misusing the powers of the State. Officers involved should face an internal investigation for breach of Police Departmental Orders. Please request the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to open 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: Human Rights Defender illegally arrested for allegedly participating in a Protest against Police

Name of Victims: Mrs. Kariyawasam Aarachchilage Ramani Kusumalatha (46) of No: 247/C,                                    Trincomalee Road, Kantale in the Trincomalee District

Alleged perpetrators: Police Officers attached to the Kantale Police Station

Date of incident: On 23 June 2017

Place of incident: Kantale Police Division

According to information I have received Mrs. Kariyawasam Aarachchilage Ramani Kusumalatha (46) of No: 247/C, Trincomalee Road, Kantale in the Trincomalee District. Kusumalatha is one of the most active civil society activists in the village. She is a member of several civil society organizations and has participated in many demonstrations in the area and nationwide. She demanded protection for human rights and the civil liberties of the people. She is widely known for her social work and is a law-abiding citizen of Trincomalee.

Kusumalatha learned in the evening of 3 June 2017 about three young persons of the village. They were tortured, IN PUBLIC, by Kantale Police Station Officers. She further learned that the victims had to be admitted to the Kantale Base Hospital for treatment. Kusumalatha immediately went to the hospital and visited the patients facilitated by the medical staff.

Meanwhile, she learned that large gatherings of people surrounded the hospital and raised their voices in support of the three young boys—now patients. They demanded that Hospital Authorities assist the victims. They demanded that the Police Officers responsible for the torture be arrested.

She observed that large numbers of Police reported to the hospital premises, preparing to use force. She noted that Senior Police Officials were positioned among the ordinary Policemen. Kusumalatha, approached the Senior Police officers directly. She did not approve their move to assault the protestors and demanded that they listen peacefully to the protestors. She raised her voice to resolve the problem by providing JUSTICE. In this way, she would be able to stop a massive human rights violation from happening.

Several days later, on 23 June, a team of 5 Police Officers went to her home and questioned her as to why she obstructed their duties. She was arrested and brought to the Kantale Police Station. After a detention of 4 hours, she was produced before the Kantale Magistrate and granted bail.

She learned that the Police filed fabricated charges against her for obstructing their work. Kusumalatha states that she was illegally arrested and held in a cell by Kantale Police, thereby violating her fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

I request the intervention of your good offices. Ensure that the Authorities listed below open an immediate investigation into the allegation of violations of the fundamental rights of the victim by Officers of the Sri Lanka Police Department. The 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 Program
Asian Human Rights Commission ([email protected])

Read this UAC online

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