UN unaware of torture report on Lanka

The report on Sri Lanka had said that Sri Lankan security forces continued to torture Tamil detainees even after the election of reformist president Maithripala Sirisena in January. The charity said that more than a third of the alleged torture victims in the report had returned to Sri Lanka from the UK, some forcibly after their asylum applications were rejected.The FFT report, Tainted Peace: Torture in Sri Lanka since May 2009, looks mostly at abuses during the Rajapaksa era, analysing 148 case of apparent torture, but the charity said that it has continued to receive referrals of Sri Lankan torture victims in 2015. The report, by the UK-based charity Freedom From Torture (FFT) and published on Thursday, comes just four days before critical parliamentary elections on 17 August, the Guardian newspaper reported. The United Nations says it is unaware of the torture report on Sri Lanka but in general they clearly stand against the use of torture.UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said this in response to a question posed at the daily press briefing at the UN headquarters in New York. “The new leadership will need to tackle vested interests in the military, police and intelligence services who until now have resisted any proper reckoning for torture and other grave abuses committed during the civil war and the six years since the conflict ended,” the report said. Almost all the cases FFT reviewed involved Tamils, detained because they were suspected of having personal or family ties to the Tamil Tigers.The alleged forms of torture used include beatings, burning, rape and other forms of sexual violence, asphyxiation, electric shocks, mock executions, and stabbings. Seventy per cent of the inmates in the study were held in solitary confinement.The report alleges: “Methods of torture were often meted out simultaneously: every survivor was beaten, including with blunt instruments, pipes filled with cement or pistol butts. Often these blows were delivered while the person was suspended with both their hands and feet tied up. Some were dropped from a height with bindings still in place so they were unable to break their fall. (Colombo Gazette)

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