Statement from Freedom from Torture on President Sirisena’s questioning of our 2015 torture evidence in BBC interview of 21 January 2016.
Sonya Sceats, Director of Policy and Advocacy, said:
“This is an outrageous reversal of promises made to torture survivors and the international community in October 2015 to deliver an internationalised justice process as part of the new government’s determination to achieve accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
“Survivors of torture receiving rehabilitation treatment from Freedom from Torture have been clear from the start that for them to have any confidence in the justice process, there must be strong international participation at every stage and level.
“The President has questioned the veracity of the evidence Freedom from Torture has presented of ongoing torture under his presidency.
“Of the eight cases of torture in 2015 that we have described, one involves a survivor who has already been granted international protection within the UK asylum system. The remaining seven have been referred to us for forensic documentation of their injuries or have been referred for therapy by psychiatric specialists and GPs in Britain’s National Health Service.”
For further information or to arrange an interview with Sonya Sceats, contact Kaye Stearman, Communications Officer, at [email protected] or ring 0207 697 3791 or 07767 313 105.
Since 1985 Freedom from Torture has been the only national human rights organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation and support of torture survivors seeking refuge in the UK. It does this primarily through offering psychological therapies and forensic documentation of torture as well as offering practical and welfare support.
Freedom from Torture has received approximately 800 referrals for Sri Lankans in the last four years, more than for any other nationality The charity submitted extensive forensic evidence to UN investigators of ongoing torture in Sri Lanka since the end of the war, evidence which was cited in the UN report released on 16 September 2015.
Interim Communications Officer