Sri lankan police tortured a man with hot chilies on his genitalia

(January 31, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Mr. Sunil Shantha was illegally arrested by the Anguruwathora police. A non-state agent abducted Sunil from the street and assaulted him in a private confinement. Later, they handed him over to the police whom the abductor entertained with liquor. The police officers tortured Sunil by massaging chopped hot chilies on his body including his eyes and genitalia. The next morning Sunil was released. At no time was he shown or informed of any complaint against him and no statement was recorded. In this instance the police have tortured an innocent man to please an influential private party, which the Sri Lankan police do as a common practice. The case is yet another illustration of the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in the country.

Mr. Sunil Shantha (38) of Werawatha; Delgahakanda; Anguruwathota is married and a labourer. He was illegally arrested, detained and subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment on 18 October 2010 by police officers attached to the Anguruwathota Police.

While Sunil was working at his one of his employer's houses on 18 October, he went to a boutique close by to buy some cigarettes. At the boutique, Mr. Samarapala Edirimanna (who resides in the same village as Sunil) abducted him and took to his home. There he assaulted Sunil, accusing him of stealing cattle. After he assaulted Sunil Samarapala telephoned an officer of the Anguruwathota Police Station. He then took Sunil in the direction of the police station in his car and on the way they met a police vehicle. Samarapala treated the officers in the vehicle with liquor and they then brought Sunil to the police station.

At the police station he was taken into a room. An officer, Thennakoon, stripped off Sunil's clothes and then cuffed his wrists. Thennakoon then hung Sunil from the roof and started to chop and crush hot chilies using a cup. When the chilies were ready he poured them into Sunil's eyes and rubbed them into his genitalia. Sunil was kept in this condition for some time before being brought down.

Then officer Thennakoon tied Sunil's wrists and ankles together and placed a pole through them which he then suspended on two tables with the assistance of another officer. While Sunil was suspended in this manner officer Thennakoon beat the soles of his feet. After this torture Sunil was locked in a cell.

The following morning Sunil was released. He states that the officers at the station did not record anything from him. Further he states that the police did not produced him before court nor is there any case against him. At no time did the police show or inform him of any complaint made by any party to the police. Sunil states that by listening to the conversation inside the station he learned that the Officer-in-Charge of the crime branch, Chaminda, of the Anguruwathota Police Station commanded officer Thennakoon to torture Sunil at the station. Sunil denies that he was ever engaged in stealing cattle. He further states that the police officers at Anguruwathota Police Station tortured him to please Mr. Samarapala Edirimanna an influential person in the area. In this the officers acted ultra vires in that they had no authority to arrest, detain and mistreat him. It is evident that they were acting on behalf of an influential party.

He narrated the way that he was tortured and the violation of his rights by the police officers in the video here.

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