Tamil political prisoners complain about increased harassment at SL prisons

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 22:18 GMT]
The intelligence operatives of the Sri Lankan military and the prison officers are threatening the Tamil political prisoners against their attempts to file Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions challenging their continued imprisonment, the families visiting the prisoners from Batticaloa told TamilNet this week. When the families are visiting the prisoners, two intelligence operatives were accompanying the imprisoned Tamils. In the meantime, rights activists from Batticaloa, providing free legal assistance to the prisoners in Colombo Magazine prison and at Anurdhapura prison, complain that the prisoners were unable to communicate with them about filing FR petitions.

The political prisoners are being continuously harassed and subjected to torture by the prison authorities, the families of the imprisoned Tamils from Batticaloa said.

Any protest against the SL State would bring new charges against the imprisoned Tamil political prisoners, a Tamil prisoner, subjected to torture following his participation in the recent hunger strike, was told by the SL prison officers.

“Do you think we would allow you to get released through staging protests when we even go the extent of detaining people like Pillayan who were supporting us in the war against you,” was a question posed by the same prison officers, according to the family of the prisoner.

The SL prison authorities are also deploying Sinhala inmates to harass the Tamil political prisoners.

The families and the rights activists do not wish to name themselves fearing reprisals targeting their relatives and clients.

In the meantime, SL military intelligence operatives have also been monitoring the activities of the families from Batticaloa, who have recently visited the political prisoners in Magazine and Anuradhapura prisons.

The Tamil political prisoners dropped the hunger strike after Tamil politicians belonging to Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) requested to give more ‘time and space’ to ‘Sri Lankan’ ministers to expedite their cases.

The SL minister of Justice has openly refused to recognise the imprisoned former members of the LTTE as political prisoners.

However, the Tamil prisoners have vowed to resume their hunger strike on November 7, despite the prevailing harassment, the rights activists told TamilNet on Wednesday.


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