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Report notes secret detention

28 January 2010 07:05 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A group of four independent U.N. rights investigators have, in a report, noted that Sri Lanka was among dozens of countries where people were detained at secret locations and grilled to gather information. The report is to be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council in March.

The 221-page report constitutes the most exhaustive U.N. study of secret detention practices, examining abuses by the United States and dozens of countries, including Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia, and Sri Lanka.

The report notes that in Sri Lanka, the protracted conflict between the Government and the LTTE has perpetuated the use of secret detention and that in general, Sri Lankan army officials, dressed either in military uniform or civilian clothes, would arrest ethnic Tamils and hold them in secret places of detention for a week or longer.

One such location mentioned in the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture was an army camp located off Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo. The detainees were often interrogated under torture, the purpose of which was to make them confess their involvement with the LTTE.  In 1992, the Government adopted a law giving more power to the armed forces and authorizing the use of secret detention camps.  Although the emergency regulations issued subsequently in June 1993 outlawed secret detention, there were reliable reports indicating that people continued to be held in undisclosed places where torture was practised, and no action was taken against the perpetrators, the report said.

United Nations human rights mechanisms and non-governmental organizations have expressed serious concerns with regard to abductions by police and military personnel, detention at undisclosed locations, and enforced disappearances.

In its 2008 report to the Human Rights Council, the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances remarked that it “remains gravely concerned at the increase in reported cases of enforced disappearances in the country”. 

In its concluding observations on Sri Lanka, the Human Rights Committee expressed its regret regarding impunity for abductions and secret detentions:  “the majority of prosecutions initiated against police officers or members of the armed forces on charges of abduction and unlawful confinement, as well as on charges of torture, have been inconclusive due to lack of satisfactory evidence and unavailability of witnesses, despite a number of acknowledged instances of abduction and/or unlawful confinement and/or torture, and only very few police or army officers have been found guilty and punished.”  The Human Rights Committee also “note[d] with concern reports that victims of human rights violations feel intimidated from bringing complaints or have been subjected to intimidation and/or threats, thereby discouraging them from pursuing appropriate avenues to obtain an effective remedy”.

Among other countries the report notes that the United States in the company of a long line of despotic regimes, from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet, that have used secret prisons -- although the scale of alleged U.S. abuses is infinitesimally small in comparison.  (Daily Mirror online)

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  Comments - 18

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  • Thursday, 28 January 2010 02:43 PM

    I say LTTE Terrorists are not human & they don't have Human rights. You are talking about bus bomb makers human rights ! .

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 02:45 PM

    U.S. FORMULAS DOES NOT WORK ALL THE TIME.. OBAMA IS A WHITE MAN IN A BLACK SKIN,,HE DOES NOT HAVE HIS OWN THOUGHTS.

    U.S.HAS MORE SECRET JAILS ALL OVER THE WORLD..THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO PLAY WITH A LITTLE MOUSE EXCEPT IRAN AND NORTH KOREA.
    FINALLY MUSLIM WORLD WILL TEACH U.S.OR THEY WILL BURN U.S.A.

    IT IS TIME SRILANKA BUILD SOME NUECLEAR REACTORS
    AND SEE HOW U.S. IS GOING TO DANSE..

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 02:55 PM

    NO they have no rights. when did you hear that terrorist have normal rights as others?? they only have prisoner rights.

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 02:56 PM

    un they dance to tune of u s a because all high ups are

    from U S A

    Friday, 29 January 2010 12:08 AM

    The UN is full of bootlickers - consequence, no action on HR violations! It is high time that the conscientious community of the world, intervenes!

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:21 AM

    yeah and US must be on top of that list!

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:23 AM

    Dont worry about this report. As US is also implicated nothing will happen. UN will put the tail between legs and run when US growls.

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 05:13 PM

    Just imagine the fear and suffering of those who are detained and tortured. Also, think about their families and friends and their grief. We cannot support inhuman practices, even against criminals!

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:34 AM

    Where is our General, is he also detained at secret location ?

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:41 AM

    Ok. West has started the war against SL.....
    I won’t be surprised if our General made a statement backing report.

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:44 AM

    Human Rights of LTTE Terrorists...Huh...!.

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:47 AM

    Yes we agree on the list of folowing
    1) USA
    2)UK
    3)Middle eastern countries
    4)
    5)
    ...............................................................100) Sri Lanka

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:50 AM

    UN always come up with some thing. They do not want us to live in peace. Until we dance to their song they will do this.

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 12:57 PM

    Don't worry Folks as long as our man Ban Ki Moom is Un S.G. nothing will happen to Lanka. As they say the person who pays the opiper calls the tune. As long as we keep paying Ban his due he has to play our tune. Well done MR

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 12:59 PM

    Do you mean LTTE fighters are not Human. And they have no right.

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 05:57 PM

    Surely, the Western nations cannot be a law unto themselves? Or am I wrong? Nobody has said anything about Bush & Blair conducting an unjustifiable war in Iraq!

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:58 AM

    USA is on that list too??

    Thursday, 28 January 2010 07:58 AM

    Now Fonseka can reveal those places !.


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