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Many PTA detainees have complained of pressure in relation to self-incriminating statements – HRCSL to Acting IGP

Ramani Muttettuwegama, the commissioner in charge of Investigations & Inquiries at the HRCSL has requested  C. D.C. Wickremaratne, Acting Inspector General of Police to provide details of persons detained under the PTA urgently  as the Commission monitor the conditions of persons in custody.

In her letter, she says that “many detainees have complained of pressure in relation to self-incriminating statements. These include frequent trips to police headquarters where pre-prepared statements are proffered to detainees in Sinhala for their signature, inducements such as promises of release if statements are signed and threats such as charges based on falsehoods if they are not signed.”

The letter fellows:

C. D.C. Wickremaratne,
Acting Inspector General of Police
Police Headquarters
Colombo 01.
Dear Sir,

Re: Detentions under the Prevention of Terrorism Act

We refer to our letter of 28 October requesting details of persons detained under the PTA ad request you to urgently provide us with the same. As you are aware, under Section 11(d)of the HRCSL Act No. 21 of 1996 requires the Commission to continuously monitor the conditions of persons in custody.

As mentioned to you during our meeting with the National Police Commission, many detainees have complained of pressure in relation to self-incriminating statements. These include frequent trips to police headquarters where pre-prepared statements are proffered to detainees in Sinhala for their signature, inducements such as promises of release if statements are signed and threats such as charges based on falsehoods if they are not signed. We are attaching here, the letter provided by your Department were
some element of these practices is clearly demonstrated – you will note the language of “advised to provide confessions” in relation to several detainees.

As you are aware, the admissibility of self-incriminating statements, even under the PTA, is based on the test of voluntariness as required by Section 24 of the Evidence Ordinance. Please let us know what steps have been taken in this regard to ensure validity of statements made to the police since our discussion.

Yours faithfully,
Ramani Muttettuwegama
Commissioner in charge of Investigations & Inquiries

As a PDF:HRCSL-Letter-to-IGP-on-confessions-on-24_11_2020

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