Tamil prisoners files Fundamental Rights petition against SL Prison Minister for threatening them at gunpoint

Eight Tamil prisoners detained under Sri Lanka’s notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) at the Anuradhapura prison have filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court against the Sri Lankan State Minister Lohan Ratwatte for threatening them at gunpoint. 

The Tamil prisoners are seeking an order in respect of the alleged serious offences committed by State Minister Ratwatte at the Anuradhapura Prison on 12th of September 2021.

The Tamil prisoners are also seeking an interim order transferring them to a prison in the Northern Province where their cases are lodged.

The Tamil prisoners stated that on 12th of September around 6.05 pm, the ten detainees were asked to come out into the Prison complex’s courtyard. They said State Minister and another person who appeared to be his Secretary, some others who looked like his security detail and some Prison guards were there. They said State Minister told the detainees to stand in a semi-circle and ordered them to kneel before him.

“State Minister started to abuse them in Sinhala saying that the President had given him all the power in relation to PTA Prisoners and that he could either release them or shoot them dead,” the Tamil prisoners alleged.  The petitioners further said the State Minister had a pistol in his hand and appeared to be intoxicated.

“The State Minister then demanded to know what crime each of the detainees had committed. He kept shouting abuse at the detainees for a while and then ordered eight Petitioners to go in. The detainees were all in great shock and fear. Later, the Prison officials told them that the Minister has gone out of the Prison and for them not to be fearful,” the petitioners stated.

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