Innocent man illegally arrested and tortured by Panadura Police

(March 23, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Mr. Sugath Chandima (29) of Hirana, Panadura in the district of Kalutara was illegally arrested and severely tortured by the police officers attached to the Panadura Police Station on 17 February 2011. Sugath was brought to the police station by his employer and handed over the officers. He was forced to confess to stealing a mobile phone which Sugath vehemently denied. Then the employer told the officers that Sugath is innocent and that he had he never engage in stealing after which he was discharged. He was then treated in Panadura Base Hospital for two days. He complained to the Human Rights Commissions seeking justice but nothing happened. This case is yet another illustration of the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in the country.

According to the information the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Kong Kong based right group, received Mr. Sugath Chandima (29) of Hirana, Panadura is a labourer and unmarried. He is living with his mother and is the only breadwinner of the family.

On 17 February 2011 he was asked by a businessman namely Mr. Priyananda living in the area to come and assist him in his house for some work. He went and completed the work. Then he waited to take the money due to him for a considerable time. After Mr. Priyananda came he took the money and went to his home.

Later Sugath noticed that Mr. Priyananda came to his home in his vehicle. The man told that he had lost his mobile phone and he needed his help to find it. Then he asked him to come to his home along with him. They both went home and searched for the phone. At the end after they did not find that the phone and the Mr. Priyananda informed Sugath that he needed to go to the police station with him. Sugath asked for the reason and was told that he was suspected of stealing the phone. Sugath told the man that he never committed a crime. But as insisted he went to the Panaduara Police Station.

Mr. Priyananda talked to the police officers in private and then the officers took down some details from Sugath. Then officers took Sugath to the room at the third floor of the police station. At that room police officers started to beat Sugath. Repeatedly he was questioned on the theft. He refused continuously to confess. Then officers told that they want to have their dinner and went away. When they came back the officers came along with Mr. Priyananda. In front of officers then he told that Sugath is innocent and he never engaged in crimes.

Then he was released by the officers. Sugath was suffered severe pain with his injuries from the torture. He directly went to the Panadura Base Hospital for treatment. The doctors advised him to be admitted for further treatment and he was treated for two days. The officers attached to the hospital police post also recorded a statement.

Sugath states that he is waiting for justice. He has made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission on the violation of his fundamental rights. He seeks the prosecution of perpetrators for the crime torturing him. The victim narrated the way he was tortured in the video.

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