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Tamil man in hospital after being beaten unconscious by Sri Lankan police

A Tamil man has been admitted to Jaffna General Hospital after he was arrested by Sri Lankan police and found beaten unconscious on Wednesday.

The man, identified as Victor Sunthar of Mambalam junction, Ariyalai, was only admitted into hospital after an intervention from a Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka officer, who accompanied his wife as she attempted to get him released from custody.

Sunthar was arrested for an alleged assault in Kalvuyangad that took place on December 4. His wife had returned home from work to find that her house doors were locked and told that her husband had been arrested by the Sri Lankan police.

Though she attempted to visit him, she was not permitted to see her husband, even as she remained locked out of her own house. She went on to file a complaint with the Humans Rights Commission's (HRC) Jaffna office. 

Jaffna’s HRC coordinator Kanakaraj accompanied the Sunthar's wife to the police station, where they found him beaten to a state of unconsciousness. "When we went to the police station to see the victim, we found him unconscious," Kanakaraj told reporters.

Initially, the police refused to let them take Sunthar to the hospital, claiming that the HRC had no jurisdiction to take him for treatment. "We had to fight persistently to recover him from the police officers," Kanakaraj added, stating that he would file a report with the HRC.

The latest incident comes just days after the US State Department acknowledged in its annual report on Sri Lanka that “interviews by human rights organizations found that torture and excessive use of force by police, particularly to extract confessions, remained endemic”.



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