Human Rights

Abducted and tortured Tamil fearing Sri Lanka state intelligence seeks security

A Tamil man from northern Sri Lanka who was found abandoned with severe torture injuries on the same day the country’s president took to the streets on a ‘Stop Torture’ campaign, has appealed to authorities for security.

While in the northern Mannar district hospital for treatment, Santiago Anthony Danny has asked police and the human rights commission on Saturday (02) to provide security for his family.

The family has received threats from suspected state intelligence personnel, his wife told journalists.

Blindfolded Santiago Anthony Danny who was dumped at an isolated place in Nochchikulam in the Mannar district on the night of 30 June with visible burn marks on his body has managed to walk to a nearby church.

He was later admitted to the Mannar hospital.

The scars on his body are consistent with burn marks from Sri Lanka police and security forces torture earlier described to international rights bodies by Tamil victims.

The 38-year-old father of two has been missing since the day before.

He has been burnt with hot irons and beaten up and suspended by his neck at an undisclosed location, his wife said.

Searching for weapons

Nilshiya Madhuvanthy told journalists in Mannar that the torturers who spoke in Sinhala and broken Tamil have demanded that her husband reveal the locations of ‘hidden weapons’.

In complaints to police, ICRC office in Mannar and the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Nilshiya Madhuvanthy has explicitly identified the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) as responsible for the abduction of Anthony Danny while he was seeking refuge in the Uyilankulam Catholic church.

The family was concerned about his safety as Anthony Danny has been receiving constant threats from TID officers who have visited their house in Pallimunai for the last two months. 

Pledges to UN

He has been abducted by suspected TID officials who stormed into his room, gagged, tied his hands behind his back and shoved him to a vehicle before been taken away on the day that the country’s foreign minister in Geneva promised the United nations to initiate measures aimed at combating and eliminating torture.

Earlier, courts had cleared Anthony Danny who was arrested in 2001 under suspicion of involvement with Tamil Tigers.

Police torture record

Speaking at the ‘Stop Torture’ march on 30 May, Sri Lanka’s top human rights official said that police was the main accused in over four hundred complaints on torture.

Proposed reforms by the UN has met with obstacles due to ‘administrative challenges’ said Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Chairperson Deepika Udagama.

UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment Juan E. Mendez, who visited Sri Lanka in May called for structural reform in the country’s key institutions that allowed human rights violations

“The current legal framework and the lack of reform within the structures of the armed forces, police, Attorney-General’s Office and judiciary perpetuate the real risk that the practice of torture will continue,” he warned.

© JDS


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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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