A Tamil refugee is to stand trial at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, for alleged involvement in an attack on a Sri Lankan army convoy 12 years ago.
The Public Prosecutor’s office claims that the defendant incriminated himself in his 2018 asylum application. The attack, which is alleged to have taken place when the refugee was 15 years old, is reported to have resulted in the deaths of six people, though it is unclear whether any civilians were injured or if all were Sri Lankan military personnel.
He faces a maximum youth sentence of ten years in prison. The case is earmarked for eight days.
Last year, the same court acquitted a Tamil man charged with war crimes with the LTTE. Rights groups had criticised the German prosecutor for pursuing charges against Tamil asylum seekers while ignoring Sri Lankan state atrocities and violations.
In 2020 New Zealand granted a Tamil asylum seeker refugee status as the High Court had ruled that there was a credible threat that he would be interrogated and tortured. In February 2019 Freedom From Torture reported that Sri Lanka was - for the seventh successive year – “the top country of origin for torture survivors referred… for clinical services and medico-legal reports”.
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