Sri Lanka Brief
NewsMAN ABDUCTED DAYS BEFORE COURT HEARING

MAN ABDUCTED DAYS BEFORE COURT HEARING

by
URGENT ACTION AI

Ramasamy Prabaharan, a Tamil businessman who brought a case against Sri Lankan police for torture, unlawful arrest and detention was abducted on 11 February at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by armed men.  He was due to appear in court on 13 February. There are fears for his safety.

On 11 February a group of around seven armed men in plain clothes took Ramasamy Prabaharan into their custody at his house in Colombo, the capital. The men grabbed him by the neck and dragged him into a white van parked nearby before speeding away. Ramasamy Prabaharan’s family members shouted for help but no-one came to their aid. Later that day, the family received a ransom demand via his mobile phone but they have not heard anything since.  Ramasamy Prabaharan’s whereabouts and fate are unknown.
The family registered the incident at Wellawatte Police station (incident number 224/222/GCIB). It is the responsibility of the authorities to establish his whereabouts, ensure his safety and reveal the truth of what has happened to him.

Ramasamy Prabaharan was previously detained, on suspicion of being a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. He was detained for 28 months and suffered extensive torture before being released in September 2011 due to lack of evidence. Ramasamy Prabaharan is currently pursuing legal redress for torture inflicted on him while in state custody.

At the time of the abduction, Ramasamy Prabaharan had filed a fundamental rights application with the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka (application no S/C FR 963/2009) against senior police officers, the Attorney-General, and eight others, alleging torture and unlawful arrest and detention. The Supreme Court had granted leave to proceed and the hearing had been scheduled for 13 February. Ramasamy Prabaharan was abducted two days before the fundamental rights petition was to be heard in the courts.
Please write immediately in English or your own language:  

  • Call on the authorities to urgently establish the fate and whereabouts of Ramasamy Prabaharan;   
  • Seek assurances that Ramasamy Prabaharan is safe;     
  • If he is detained, he should have immediate access to a lawyer, his family and an independent court and not be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 28 MARCH 2012 TO:
 

His Excellency the President
Mahinda Rajapaksa   
Presidential Secretariat   
Colombo 1   
Sri Lanka   
Fax: +94 11 2446657
Salutation: Your Excellency

Inspector General of Police
N K Illangakoon
New Secretariat Colombo 1
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 244 0440
Salutation: Dear Inspector General


And copies to

Secretary
Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission:
No. 108 Barnes Place
Colombo 07
Sri Lanka   
Fax: +94 11 268 9558
Email: sechrc@sltnet.lk  

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation   

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION
MAN ABDUCTED DAYS BEFORE COURT HEARING
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Sri Lanka’s long war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ended in 2009, but its legacy of human rights violations continues, including ongoing reports of enforced disappearances.  Special units within the security forces and groups linked to the security forces have a history of involvement in abductions in Jaffna, eastern Sri Lanka, and increasingly in other parts of the country including Colombo.  Many families in touch with Amnesty International report that members of the security forces have sought to extort money from them in return for the release of loved ones.

Name: Ramasamy Prabaharan
Gender m/f: M

UA: 51/12 Index: ASA 37/002/2012 Issue Date: 15 February 2012

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