President joins Commission's anti-torture campaign
Graphic: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena joined the Commission's march against torture
Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama said that complaints regarding torture, especially in the police custody, had continued to increase.
Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena joined a public march organised by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) to launch its campaign to stamp out torture in places of detention.
The march began at the office of the Human Rights Commission and finished at Independence Square.
Minister of Law and Order Sagala Rathnayaka, police officers, defence force personnel, religious leaders, government officials, civil society groups, family members of torture victims, school students and members of the public also took part in the march.
Addressing the media, HRCSL Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama said that complaints regarding torture, especially in the police custody, had continued to increase.
She told Colombo Page that the Commission received 413 complaints regarding torture in government institutions during 2015 and that 53 complaints had been received so far this year.
According to Dr Udagama, police have used torture as a tool to try and obtain information from suspects despite it being proven to be ineffective in addressing crime.
She said, that according to statistics, the conviction rate remained as low as five per cent and there was no evidence that the crime rate could be reduced through torture.
The nation-wide 'stop torture' campaign was also observed by the Commission's ten regional offices.
Graphic: Members of Sri Lanka's security forces joined the march
The Commission last month issued Directives to be followed by designated officials arresting persons under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act.
Following the measure, President Sirisena issued a series of new directives to police and security forces to follow when arresting and detaining persons suspected of terrorism related offences.
Unedr the President's directives, arresting officers should not physically harass, torture or humiliate suspects.
Date: 30 June 2016
- Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena joined the Commission's march against torture - Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
- Members of Sri Lanka's security forces joined the march - Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka