Police strip and sexually torture man in custody to force confession

(March 31, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to information from 20-year-old labourer, Mudugamuwa Manage Piyal, he was arrested on 2 August at 2pm by police and taken first to Deniyaya and then Morawaka Police Station.There had been an attempt by police to arrest Piyal’s brother and one of his uncles earlier in the day regarding a theft at a shop in Porupitiya, but they had escaped.

From this point the victim alleges that a series of beatings took place over several days in a room at Morawaka station. The first incident involved officers kicking the victim until he screamed, and was heard by his mother who waited nearby. Piyal was later handcuffed to a bed and then whipped with his own belt at around 7:30pm by a drunk police officer. During an interrogation set up, the victim claims that he was stripped and beaten again by an officer, who also gripped and twisted his penis. The beatings continued over the 48 hours until he was released without bail on 4 August; he was told to report to the station every Sunday.

Finally Piyal was confronted by officer Sunil Shantha as he left the station, who took his bicycle. The policeman suggested that Piyal's brother had stolen a mountain bike and that he should give up his own to avoid the case being pursued. He was told not to mention it to anyone.

Piyal has been treated at Haldola Government Ayurvedic Hospital for the beating he received in custody. However to date no case has been filed in response to his allegations of torture, despite a written complaint being sent to the Inspector General of Police, the Superintendent of Police Matara, the National Police Commission, Attorney General and the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission. He continues to visit the police station each week, as instructed by the officers who tortured him.

Sources: AHRC