2ND LEAD

Tamil political prisoners in CRP, Magazine prisons on hunger strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 January 2010, 13:32 GMT]
More than 360 Tamil political prisoners being detained in Colombo Remand Prison and in the Magazine prison in Colombo are on a wide scale hunger strike demanding the authorities to expedite their cases or release them on bail. 52-year-old Kanagasabai Devadasan, who was former State Film Corporation director, abducted and later detained at the New Magazine Prison in Welikada, launched his fast-unto-death campaign on January 01 demanding authorities to prosecute if there are any charges against him. Mr. Devadasan has also demanded that the case should be heard in Tamil.

Mr. Devadasan, a resident of Jaffna was appointed as the first Tamil director of the Film Corporation, was abducted on April 14, 2008 by a group who came by white van in Kotahena. A week later he was handed over to Wellawatte police with a letter transferred to Criminal Investigation Department. He was produced before magistrate and remains detained at Welikada prison without any charges.

The hunger strike was launched amidst heavy resistance by the prison authorities.

Reliable sources told TamilNet Tuesday that Tamil political prisoners who were protesting demanding release were attacked last Sunday by prison guards.

When the news of the attack on Tamil detainees in the Magazine prison leaked out, the authorities began claiming that there was a clash between two groups of the prisoners. Sources close to the protesting prisoners denied the claim and said they were attacked by the jailers.

Many of the Tamil political 'prisoners' are under detention for several years without facing any inquiry or cases in courts.

The prisoners demand that they should be released immediately or to file indictments against them in law courts. They have already made appeals to higher authorities through human rights organizations and activists.

 

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