A man is under imminent threat of illegal arrest and torture

 - March 9th, 2011 - 

Upul went to his home on 3 February 2011, to participate in an alms giving held for the anniversary of his father’s death. Then his mother told him that a police officer was asking about a person called ‘Japana’. He went out from the house and asked the police officer who he was looking for. Upul noted that the police officer appeared to be quite drunk. When the officer asked about a person called Japana Upul told him that he did not know anyone of that name. The officer became irritated and asked for Upul’s name and identity card which he provided. The officer twisted Upul’s ID card and asked him to go to the police station with him. At that point Upul clearly stated that as he has not committed any crime and furthermore, was not the person the officer was looking for he was not willing to go to the police station. The officer started shout but then left the place.

Upul then inquired about the identity of the police officer from the neighbours and they told that him that the officer was Police Sergeant Jayaveera of the Deniyaya Police Station.

During the night Upul noted that a three wheeler arrived and parked in front of his home. At the same time he noted that there were two police officers, one in uniform and one in civilian clothes. Upul was afraid and believed that they meant him harm so he hid outside and watched what happened. He noted that police officers left the house after asking for his name.

Again on 4 February around 9.30 am Police Sergeant Jayaveera and three other police officers went to his home. Without producing a warrant they searched the premises for Upul. As they carried out their search they verbally abused the family members with obscene language. They then insisted that his brother and sister call Upul and ask him to come to the house but they refused to do so. Then Sergeant Jayaveera pulled open the blouse of the young lady and pushed his hand inside her bra searching for a mobile phone. In contravention of the police orders he did so in the absence of a female police officer. Upul’s sister stated that she felt sexually harassed by the actions of these police officers.

They then searched anything belonging to Upul and illegally confiscated his wallet and a gold chain worth of Rs. 27 900/=, his identity card, documents relevant to Upul’s retirement from the Army and two Sim cards. As they left they warned the family members that Upul should attend the police station by 4 pm.

When Upul learned of this he was afraid and made a complaint to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Superintendent of Police (SP) Matara and the Officer-in-Charge of the Deniyaya Police Station on the violation of his rights by these police officers and the imminent threat to his life. He requested an immediate inquiry and that these officers be ordered not to harass him or make any threats to his life. To-date no positive steps have been taken to inquire into the incident nor has any action been taken against any of these officers. Upul made a further written complaint to the Inspector General of Police on 14 March 2011 but has not received any response as yet.

Upul lives in fear of his life. He feels that police officers would do harm him and the members of his family. Further he believes that the police officers will try to illegally arrest, detain and file fabricated charges to remand him in order to deprive him of his rights to liberty.

More Details – www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-066-2011

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