A Tamil youth described on video how he was beaten and tortured by Sri Lankan police, just hours before he was killed.
25-year-old Nagarasa Alex, a resident of Sithankerni, Jaffna, revealed harrowing details of his torture, just hours before he was declared dead.
Trigger warning – graphic descriptions of violence.
In the video, Alex describes being waterboarded, having ropes tied to his elbows and hung, having his head covered with a bag filled with petrol, and forced to drink alcohol.
A post-mortem examination revealed Alex had sustained “multiple injuries”. The cause of death form issued by the office of the judicial medical officer found that there were “abrasions and contusions” on the “trunk, both upper limbs and both lower limbs”.
See the video below.
Read a transcript below.
“Police took me saying I’m a suspect and hit me. Saying I was a robbery suspect.
They tied me up and hit me. They tied my face up with a cloth and kept pouring water and beating me.
I can’t keep food down.
They tied me with a cloth and beat me.
Once they’d beat me tied up… Then they hoisted me up around two feet with ropes tied around my elbows They beat me while I was hanging there and questioning me.
I kept saying it wasn’t me. So, then they put petrol into a bag and covered my face with it, and continued to beat me.
I passed out there.
I can’t lift either of my arms now, and I’ve got loads of injuries.
No, they didn’t give me food the first day They gave me food the next day and took me into their office and said don’t tell anyone this, don’t file a case with human rights.
They were basically threatening me. They gave me alcohol to drink.”
Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force (STF) has been deployed to ramp up security outside a police station in Jaffna after a Tamil youth was killed in custody on Sunday.
25-year-old Nagarasa Alex was declared dead just hours after he described on video how the Sri Lankan police were brutally torturing him. He had been detained by the Sri Lankan police in Vaddukkottai. The video has been widely shared, with anger brewing over the killing of another Tamil youth.
The occupying Sri Lankan security forces have since set up roadblocks on Ponnalai road, with tensions between local Tamils and the armed forces heightened. Alongside a heavy police presence, armed STF officers were seen on patrol.
The STF is a paramilitary unit widely understood to be responsible for a range of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings, including a string of massacres of Tamils, such as the ‘Trinco 5’ murders.