Alarming trend of ‘hostage taking’ by Colombo’s TID investigators: Lawyers

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 09:54 GMT]
The military intelligence of occupying Colombo is keeping the family members of alleged suspects as hostages in detention camps irrespective of their age, gender and irrespective of any connection to those the military claims as suspects involved in the revival of the armed struggle, Colombo-based lawyers representing the victims said in a note sent to human rights defenders. The lawyers described the trend as alarming. Not only the freedom of movement, but also the freedom of having visitors in their residences is seriously affected in Mullaiththeevu and Ki’linochchi districts in particular, the lawyers said.

Detailing the condition of those detained, the note also said that there is a heavy presence of military and intelligence units in Mullaiththeevu and Ki’linochchi districts.

“When there are visitors to a house, the head of the household has to report to the Grama Seveka and the A.G.A and take the visitors to such officials for registration. This situation is worse than that prevailed during war time and this has caused immense fear in the people and has virtually frozen HRDs and the civil society organizations,” the note further said.

The soldiers often enter the residences of people under the pretext of obtaining information. The lawyers say that this practice has almost become a routine operation, harassing civilians in the two districts.

“The ordinary life is seriously affected with frequent cordon and search operations, checkpoints and arrests without reasonable suspicion.”

“Men and women who underwent rehabilitation are again directed to report to Army camps and police stations,” the lawyers said in the note.

More than 65 people were ‘arrested’ in abduction style by the Sri Lankan military intelligence operatives who claim their identity as ‘Terrorist Investigation Division’ (TID) officers from the SL Police Department, news sources in Ki'linochchi told TamilNet.

Only a few of them, around 8 people including a woman, have been released from the custody so far. All the eight released were from Jaffna and ‘arrested’ in Colombo.

The TID runs various interrogation offices at various locations in addition to having an embedded presence at the police stations across the North and East.


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