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Sri Lanka ‘acting’ to curb torture – Peiris

A Sri Lankan delegation, led by Mohan Pieris, told the UN Committee Against Torture on Tuesday that they are acting to curb torture committed by its security forces.

He told the panel that the Sri Lankan government agrees “110 percent” that there must be no tolerance for torture.

Their claims come as several human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Freedom from Torture, released reports which include damning evidence of systematic state sponsored torture camps.

Yolande Foster from Amnesty International said,

"There is no longer an independently functioning unit investigating torture allegations levelled against the security forces, which calls into question Sri Lanka's commitment to ending this abhorrent practice,"

The UN panel questioned Sri Lanka over accusations of torture by police, harassment of lawyers and journalists, deaths in state custody, secret detention centres and the disappearances of thousands of people, a large proportion of those belonging to the Tamil-speaking community.

See Sri Lanka: war crimes are 'hearsay' and 'propaganda' (Oct 2011)