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Sri Lanka: Conviction Under The Torture Act

January 30, 2012
A Statement from Janasansadaya forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Sri Lanka: Conviction Under The Torture Act

On January 26, 2012, the former OIC of Polpithigama Police was convicted under the torture Act by the High Court of Kurunegala.

Wijeratne, the former OIC of Polpithigama Police Station, was sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment and was ordered to pay Rs. 25,000/- as compensation to Sujith Priyantha, torture victim.

On July 29, 2003, Wijeratne, the OIC of Polpithigama Police Station arrested and tortured Sujith Priyantha, a seven years' old boy who was alleged to have stolen of goods belonging to a Co-operative Store.

When, Sujith, the torture victim complained to relevant authorities including the HRC, an urgent appeal was issued by Asian Human Rights Commission in this regard (No. UA-69-2003 of 31.10.2003). The Special Investigation Unit of Police began to investigate into the matter and subsequently, in 2008, the OIC Wijeratne was indicted by Attorney General.

When the case came up in the High Court of Kurunegala yesterday (26.01.2012), the High Court Judge convicted and found Wijeratne, the former OIC of Polpithigama Police Station, guilty and ordered two year rigorous imprisonment. In addition to imprisonment a compensation of Rs. 25,000/- was also ordered.

This case was heard for nine years. On an earlier occasion when HRC inquired into this case, the OIC Wijeratne was found guilty and the HRC ordered Rs. 9,000/- compensation payable to the Torture victim which was met by the OIC.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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