Video: British trained elite police brutality against Muslim clerics during riots

Damning evidence proving the brutality of Sri Lanka’s British trained elite police commandos against Muslim religious leaders have surfaced a day before the UN human rights body debates the country’s human rights record.

Video footage obtained by JDS shows Special Task Force (STF) members in uniform assaulting two Muslim men with clubs at a time of heavy violence that swept across the central hills of Sri Lanka two weeks ago.


The date and time of the recording from the Jummah Masjid mosque in Hijrapura, Digana is shown as 4:59 pm on 5 March 2018.

Anti Muslim violence unleashed by Sinhala mobs that engulfed the tourist region of central Sri Lanka that started on the night of 4 March carried on for nearly five days despite the government imposing curfew and declaring a state of emergency.

The latest video from the riot torn region confirms the earlier reports published by JDS on STF brutality against the Muslim community.

Severely beaten

The Muslim men in their traditional gear had been identified as  Maulvi Mohamed Nizamdeen and  Moulavi Mohamed Ramees.

Moulavi Nizamdeen who had been admitted to the local hospital in Theldeniya a few days was transferred to the better equipped Kandy district hospital, Muslim community leaders told JDS on strict condition of anonymity.

Both of the Moulavis who were called away from the mosque by STF had been later severely beaten up along the main street, they further said.

Senior ministers in the government had blamed the STF for actively taking part in the riot against Muslims.

The STF was officially established in 1984 under Sri Lanka Police Department as a para military unit with the expertise provided by British ex SAS officers. According to unit's official webpage, the special training included "tactics adopted by Riot Squads, weapon training, firing practices, counter terrorism search and handling of explosives."



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.