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Torture victim accuses Police Scotland of strengthening Sri Lankan regime

File photograph.

A Tamil man who survived torture by the Sri Lankan security forces before fleeing to Scotland earlier this year, has accused Police Scotland of backing a regime responsible for human rights violations in a piece published in the Sunday Post today.

The Tamil man, who had been studying in Edinburgh went to Sri Lanka after his father fell ill in August of this year. Whilst there, he says he was “grabbed from the street and put into a white van and taken away.

“I did not think I would see my wife and children, or the rest of my family, ever again,” he added.

“I did not believe I would survive after I was abducted off the street and taken blindfolded to a torture centre where I was beaten and abused day after day,” the man continued, telling of how he was branded with lit cigarettes and fell unconscious as his captors placed a petrol-dowsed plastic bag over his head.

“If my family had not found bribe money, I would have been killed,” he said after he fled to Scotland last month. “I can never return home.”

Now the survivor has spoken out against Police Scotland’s training of the Sri Lankan police.

“Your police may believe they are doing something to improve the way we are being treated in Sri Lanka, but our police and security forces are using them,” he said. “They are not interested in human rights.”

“If Scotland wants to help my people, stop providing police training and help feed Tamil families who have been forced into poverty because of the violent regime we are living under.”

Read more from the Sunday Post here.

The comments come as Tamils from across Britain make their way to Glasgow, to protest against the appearance of Sri Lanka’s president and accused war criminal Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the UN climate summit COP26.

The summit and Rajapaksa’s visit comes as Police Scotland’s training of Sri Lankan security forces has faced intense scrutiny.

Writing in The Herald this week, Wayne Jordash QC and Uzay Yasar Aysev of Global Rights Compliance LLP, called for Police Scotland to end their training programme with Sri Lanka following heaps of evidence highlighting human rights abuses. 

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