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‘See our tears and scars’ – Tamil torture survivors write to UN human rights chief

File photograph: A Tamil torture victim's scars on his back. ITJP.

A group of Tamil torture survivor, who suffered rights violations at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces, wrote to the UN human rights chief earlier this week, criticising her failure to acknowledge ongoing torture on the island.

Your report this week… caused us great hurt and anguish,” said the letter. “You erased us from the record.”

The survivors, who stated they “were all very recently detained and tortured by the security forces… and forced to flee for our lives,” criticised UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Michelle Bachelet’s report on Sri Lanka for failing to mention ongoing torture.

“You must know this is still happening in 2019,” said the letter. “We are the living proof.”

The letter said that the Tamil survivors relied on international bodies to speak about the situation on the island, stating that their families are “constantly threated and intimidated into silence about what happened to us”.

It concluded by saying,

“If by some chance you don’t believe us – which is very painful – please come and visit us and see our tears and our scars for yourself.”

See the full text of the letter here.