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​Commission addresses complaints of torture, unlawful arrest

Graphic: Man sits alone in a prison cell

One in five complaints received by the Commission in the first three quarters of 2017 related to torture and unlawful arrest.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has received 5,614 complaints in the first three quarters of 2017, with 1,174 of them related to torture and unlawful arrest, Colombo Page reported.

Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama told a media briefing that the Commission also received 770 complaints on neglect of administrative responsibilities. Of this number, 436 complaints were against the police and 334 were against other government institutions for not addressing the complaints made.

In addition, state officials lodged 1,002 complaints of administrative injustice they encountered within their own institutions.

The Commission stated that 396 complaints have been withdrawn during the past year and recommendations were made for 83 complaints, while 145 complaints are now subject to action by the judiciary.

Dr. Udagama said many instances of harassment of students by teachers and principals were reported to the Commission in the past year.

The Chairperson said the Commission will continue to focus on incidents of torture and unlawful arrests, while also highlighting the vital role that citizens can play to help eliminate torture.

However, she emphasised that Sri Lanka's human rights record had seen a notable progress in recent times, especially with regards to freedom of expression and freedom of association.

Date: 5 January 2018

Source: Colombo Page

Image credits

  1. Man sits alone in a prison cell - APF/Michael Power