Right To Life Human Rights Center

Development protecting rights | අයිතිවාසිකම් සපිරි සංවර්ධනයක් | வளர்ச்சி, உரிமைகளைப் பாதுகாத்தல்
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A case in which Right to Life Human Rights Centre provided legal assistance is being heard again in the Panadura High Court after 12 years.

The ongoing investigation into the 2012 death of Dasanayake Nimal Chandrasiri Appuhami, who died in police custody, saw significant developments on July 5, 2024, in the Panadura High Court. Witness testimonies were heard regarding the incident involving several police officers from the Wadduwa Police Station.

Nimal Chandrasiri, a 43-year-old father of three and a fisherman by profession, was arrested on April 15, 2012, at No. 25 Fisherman’s House, Ratnayake Mawatha, South Talpitiya, Wadduwa. He died in custody later that year. The case, listed under Panadura High Court, involves Police Constables Felix Chandana Sepala, Lionel Abeysiri, Sarath Kumara, and Sarath Senawardena.

During the recent hearing, Tushan Sampath, Nimal Chandrasiri’s younger son, testified that his father had complained of chest pain and said, “They hit me and my chest hurts,” when Tushan visited him at the Wadduwa Police Station. Additionally, Nimal Chandrasiri’s brother, Sanjeeva Udaya Kumara, testified that he found his brother unresponsive on a bench in the police station at around 6:30 AM. Sanjeeva stated that he called out to his brother, but received no response and noticed signs of physical assault.

Medical professionals, including Dr. Anusha Dilhani Muthukuda Arachchi from Panadura Hospital and expert forensic doctor M. Sivasubramaniam, have also provided evidence in the case. The next hearing is scheduled for August 27, 2024, in the Panadura High Court.

The incident has drawn attention to issues of police brutality and custodial deaths. The Right to Life Human Rights Centre has been instrumental in providing legal assistance. The fundamental rights case related to the incident, filed in the Supreme Court under SCFR-260/2012, is still pending.

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