IGP orders probe of Jaffna journalist torture complaint

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 March 2003, 14:10 GMT]
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) has ordered an inquiry into the complaint of torture by a Jaffna based Tamil journalist Mr.A. N .S. Thiruchelvam when he was under detention at the Terrorist Prevention Division of the police during the year 2001. The Inspector of Point Pedro Police Mr.K.Sihappu Arachchi Sunday conveyed the decision of the IGP to Mr. Thiruchelvam, sources in Jaffna said.

The IGP's order came in the wake of a notification by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka that action should be taken against police personnel who have subjected Mr. Thiruchelvam to torture and assault while being detained at a detention centre in Colombo in the year 2001, sources said.

Mr. Thiruchelvam was arrested on 02.01.2001 when he was staying in Colombo to attend a wedding of his relative. The Terrorist Division of the Police at Wellawatte in Colombo took him into custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on the pretext that he was engaged in collecting funds for a militant group. The arrest took place two months after the killing of another Jaffna based Mylvaganam Nimalarajan in his Jaffna home by unidentified assassins, sources said.

While in detention Mr. Thiruchelvam was severely assaulted and tortured and kept for 12 days in solitary confinement, according to a complaint lodged with the HRC in Sri Lanka.

Later the Colombo Fort Magistrate Mr.S. Priyantha Fernando 30.3.2001 discharged Mr. Thiruchelvam on an application made by the Attorney General that there was no evidence against him to charge under the PTA.

Several international and local media associations urged the then government to take immediate steps to inquire into the alleged torture of journalist Mr. Thiruchelvam.

Mr. Thiruchelvam was the secretary of the Northern Sri Lanka Journalists Association for a considerable period, sources said.

 

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