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NewsSri Lanka Police Continue to Refuse to Investigate Torture by Hatton HQI

Sri Lanka Police Continue to Refuse to Investigate Torture by Hatton HQI

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Issuing  an urgent appeal  the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has provided information on police inaction on torture committed by its own officials.

According the AHRC appeal the victime “Ravishankar was taken to the Hatton Police Station by the police officers On 23 September 2016. When they arrived at the Police Station, Ravishankar was taken into the office of the Head Quarters Inspector. The HQI asked him, whether he was the one who refused to come to the Police Station to give him a haircut? Then the HQI started shouting at Ravishankar in filthy language, threatening him that he should come to the Police Station whenever he is called upon to give him a haircut.

After that the HQI started assaulting him asking for reasons why Ravishankar did not respond to his call. Ravishanker was hit on the back by the HQI four or five times, with the HQI using his elbow. He was punched on the face in the presence of the four Police officers who brought Ravishankar to the Saloon. Ravishankar was then kicked by the HQI (who had his boots on) several times, and he was severely tortured. Ravishankar was repeatedly questioned, why he did not come, when he was called.”

The AHRC appeal follows:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Kadireshan Ravishankar of No. 721, Dickoya Road, Dickoya, in the Nuwara Eliya District, was severly tortured by the Headquarters Inspector of Police (HQI) of the Hatton Headquarters Police Station on 23 September 2016. He was treated at the Dickoya Base Hospital. Though he repeatedly made complaints to the senior police officers requesting prompt, independent, impartial investigaiton into his rights violations, it was refused. The victim now seeks justice against these illegal actions by the police. The case illustrates the collapse of the rule of law in the country.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Kadireshan Ravishankar (34) of No. 721, Dickoya Road, Dickoya, in Nuwara Eliya District, is a hairdresser, working in his brother’s (Mr. Kadireshan Simson’s) saloon namely ‘CS Saloon’, C1, Bus Stand, Hatton. Ravishankar is married and has four children, three of whom are in school.

On 23 September 2016, around 7:15 p.m., a driver attached to the Hatton Headquarters Police Station came to the Saloon and asked Ravishankar to come to the Police Station to give a haircut to the Head Quarters Inspector (HQI), Mr. Dayal Deegahawathura.

As his brother was not at the saloon and there were few other customers waiting for haircuts, Ravishankar told the police driver that he would come to the Police Station after handing over the saloon to his brother. The driver went back to the Police Station. Around 7:25 p.m. another three police officers including two Sub Inspectors (SI) and one Police Constable (PC) and the Police Driver who came previously, came to the saloon and made threats to Ravishankar. (Ravishankar was able to catch this violent behavior in a video footage using his mobile phone). These police officers forced Ravishankar to come with them to the Police Station at once. Ravishankar then asked two customers who were at the saloon at the time, to wait until his brother (Simson) returned.

Ravishankar was taken to the Hatton Police Station by the police officers. When they arrived at the Police Station, Ravishankar was taken into the office of the Head Quarters Inspector. The HQI asked him, whether he was the one who refused to come to the Police Station to give him a haircut? Then the HQI started shouting at Ravishankar in filthy language, threatening him that he should come to the Police Station whenever he is called upon to give him a haircut.

After that the HQI started assaulting him asking for reasons why Ravishankar did not respond to his call. Ravishanker was hit on the back by the HQI four or five times, with the HQI using his elbow. He was punched on the face in the presence of the four Police officers who brought Ravishankar to the Saloon. Ravishankar was then kicked by the HQI (who had his boots on) several times, and he was severely tortured. Ravishankar was repeatedly questioned, why he did not come, when he was called.

Then he was asked about his employer and Ravishankar was ordered to call his employer. When Ravishankar called his brother (the owner of the Saloon), his phone call was cut short due to the low credit balance. He was then asked to use the phone of one of the police officers that were present in the room. Ravishankar made a call from the phone of a Sub Inspector, who Ravishankar identified as Pradeep. With that phone call he was able to inform his brother that he was at the Police Station and he was being tortured. After severe torture for some more time, Ravishankar was asked to leave the Police Station with his equipment. Then Ravishankar ran back to the saloon which is situated about half a kilometer away.

When Ravishankar arrived to the saloon, he found difficulty in breathing and vomited. His younger brother and two other people were there at the time when Ravishankar returned to the saloon.

Having heard about the incident, a large crowd gathered around the saloon. Ravishankar was immediately admitted to the Dikoya Base Hospital. Around 9:30 p.m. an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) arrived at the Hospital with a few other police officers and forced Ravishankar to get discharged from the Hospital and forcefully took him to a nurse who has given a form to request for his discharge from the hospital. Having read the form Ravishanker refused to fill it and sign it.

His brother, Mr. Simson was also approached by the police officers when he went to see Ravishanker in the hospital and they tried to force him to get his brother Ravishankar discharged from the Hospital. However, Ravishankar refused to get discharged. Then, once again, on the same night, two Sub Inspectors who had threatened him previously at the saloon and in the HQI office approached Ravishankar. They again warned him to get discharged from the hospital. Ravishankar however refused to get discharged.

On the following morning, 24 September 2016, Ravishankar recorded a statement at the Hospital Police Post and spoke about the torture that was inflicted upon him by the HQI. On the evening of the same day, the ASP from Nuwara Eliya came to the Hospital and took a statement from him.

On 25 September 2016, two Sub Inspectors from the Hatton Headquarters Police Station approached Ravishankar and asked him to inform the two customers who were there at the saloon, when Ravishankar returned from the police following torture, not to tell the truth. However, Ravishanker did not act according to the instructions of the Sub Inspectors; he was afraid that officers would threaten the witnesses.

On 26 September 2016, Ravishankar was discharged from the Dikoya Base Hospital, although Ravishankar had not yet recovered. Ravishankar feels that his fundamental rights were denied and he was tortured & threatened with his life.

A public protest was held in Hatton Town the day following the incident. People protested against the brutal assualt by the Hatton Headquarters Police Station, requesting the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to act; in response the HQI was transferred to Nuwara Eliya.

Ravishankar states that he was severly tortured by the HQI of the Police Station. Then he made a complaint to several ASPs and officers attached to the Hospital Police Post. But none of these officers initiated any inquiry into the violation of his rights. He further states that the fundamental rights guranteed by the Constitution of the country have been violated. He demands justice.

Take action on this case pleace visit www.humanrights.asia.

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