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SRI LANKA: A Tamil man of Indian origin Arrested, Tortured & Laid With Fabricated ChargesSalem-News.com
Salem-News.com Eye on the World Report.
(SAYDABAD, Bangladesh) - Police began arresting Tamil youths of Indian origin in the Ukuwela area during the summer of 2008. Children were arrested over mere suspicion due to their ethnicity and detained indefinitely. One individual who was arrested, Navajeevan, says he was not given any explanation, and police had no arrest warrant. Without being accused of committing any particular crime, he was arrested out of mere suspicion as he was a Tamil of Indian origin. Then he was taken to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Kandy Headquarters Police Station and detained. Police of the TID severely torture him but still he was not given any reason for his arrest. Navajeevan was later able to identify two of the TID officers who tortured him, at times hanging him from the ceiling and severely beating the youth with poles.
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In this appeal, William Gomes asks N K Illangakoon, the Inspector General of Police, New Secretariat, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to urgently intervene and ensure that authorities investigate allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention, police torture, and prosecute those responsible for misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful prosecution. The officers involved must also be the subjects of internal investigations.
I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Mr. A Navajeevan (27) of Rawatte Lower Division, Ukuwela in Matale District. Navajeevan is a motor mechanic by profession.
In the year 2008 Navajeevan was working in a garage named Sisira Motors which is located in his village. He had been working in this establishment since leaving school. Navajeevan has one younger sister who was still attending school at that time. He helped his parents and younger sister with their living expenses. Navajeevan had a three wheeler which he used for his personal transportation.
Around June of 2008 the police began to arrest Tamil youths of Indian origin in the Ukuwela area. The reason for the arrests was mere suspicion due to their ethnicity and they were detained indefinitely. Navajeevan was arrested on 9 August, 2008, while he was working in the garage. At the time of arrest he was not given any explanation, nor was he shown an arrest warrant. Further, he was not accused of committing any particular crime. He was the only person arrested among the many other mechanics working with him in the Garage. Navajeevan realised that he was being arrested out of mere suspicion as he was a Tamil of Indian origin.
Then he was brought to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Kandy Headquarters Police Station and detained. Three days after he was arrested, the officers of the TID started to severely torture him but still he was not given any reason for his arrest. Navajeevan was later able to identify two of the TID officers who tortured him as Yatawara and Ranaweera. Navajeevan was tortured by being hung from the ceiling and severely beaten with poles.
Then he was transferred to Galadera Police Station where he was detained for three months and later returned to the Kandy Headquarters Police Station where he was detained for a further six months. All of the interrogations were conducted at the offices of the TID and by TID staff. On each of these occasions Navajeevan was tortured. He was questioned about any relationship and any activity with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Navajeevan consistently denied any such relationship or activity and further stated that he knew nothing. He explained very clearly that he was from Ukuwela where he had been living his whole life, including his schooling and even his parents were also from the same area. He vehemently said that he knew nothing about the Northern and Easter Provinces and had at no time any connections with the people from those areas.
After several days of torture the TID officers forced Navajeevan to sign some blank papers, the purpose fo which was not explained to him. As is common in similar situations he was in fear of further torture and signed the documents as instructed. Navajeevan further states that his signature was taken to these blank papers by the very same officers who severely tortured him and that at no time was he produced before any doctor or any senior police officers or judicial officer before signing the blank papers.
Navajeevan was finally produced before the Magistrate of Kandy on the 7 May 2009 after almost nine months and remanded at the Bogambara Remand Prison. Several days after he signed the papers Navajeevan was shown to an ordinary doctor after he complained of severe headache and pain.
Later Navajeevan leaned that the TID officers have filed three cases in the Kandy Magistrate’s Court and another four cases at the Panwila Magistrate’s Court against him. He learned that a further two cases had been filed in the Kandy High Court against him by the Attorney General. He learned that the cases numbers were HC/93/2009 and HC/211/2011. He further learned that in these cases he has been accused for aiding and abetting activities of the LTTE.
Navajeevan states that he has never engaged in any such activity and has never known any person attached to that organization. He further states that he has never committed any crime and that, according to his knowledge, no one had made any complaint against him at any time
At the time of writing Navajeevan remains in the same prison without trial. Navajeevan has never been provided proper medical treatment for the injuries suffered after being subjected to severe torture. He vehemently denies all the charges made against him.
I request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of illegal arrest, illegal detention, torture by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful prosecution. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
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