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Tamils and Muslims detained after protest in Sri Lanka, amidst claims of torture

Tamil and Muslim bystanders who did not take in yesterday’s protest were amongst those detained by Sri Lankan security forces last night, according to a lawyer who visited the Mirihana police station this morning.

As many as 45 people were arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces, as a protests near the president’s residence flared into clashes last night.

Reports suggest that the arrested may be charged under Sri Lanka’s much criticised Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), a law that has come under international scrutiny for its draconian provisions.

Lawyer Swasthika Arulingam posted on Facebook that several of those arrested “have been severely tortured”. “One cell has several Tamil and Muslim boys who did not even participate in the protest,” she added.

Nuwan Bopege, another lawyer, posted photographs showing some of those detained being transported, several looking bloodied and bruised.

This morning, several dozen lawyers gathered outside of Mirihana police station to offer their legal services to the detained.

Read more on last night’s protest in our feature: LEAD – Curfew in Sri Lanka as anti-government protests rock capital Colombo


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