Fiften asylum seekers who were deported from the UK have alleged torture and rape by Sri Lankan security forces on return, reports The Guardian newspaper.
In a Freedom of Information request of Home Office data showed that the 15 who were deported between 2009 and September 2012, had managed to escape once again to Britain where they alleged torture and rape.
One of the 15 said he was gang raped and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces, following deportation on a specially chartered UKBA flight in 2011. Another, a lady in her late 40s, said that she too had been raped and tortured after security forces interrogated her regarding the whereabouts of her two sons who had been affiliated to the LTTE. After bribing officials, she managed to escape again, and was finally granted asylum in the summer of 2012.
Contrary to the findings of the Freedom of Information request, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt has said that the UK had no direct evidence that returned asylum seekers were being tortured by Sri Lankan security forces.
The Guardian reports that BUrt still stands by his statement, however said:
"I'm well aware of claims of abuse having been made … We are also aware of claims [of torture] being made more widely – that is why some asylum claims from Sri Lanka are accepted. But what I'm not aware of is evidence that those who've returned have substantiated [their] claims in relation to torture."
The Foreign Office has told The Guardian that it was "urgently seeking further information from the Home Office about any allegations".
See full story on The Guardian here.