As Police brutality continues in Sri Lanka, at least four members of the Tamil and Muslim communities have been hospitalised after being ‘beaten black and blue’ literally by the Police force in the Eastern part of the island, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) reported.
JDS further reports that these brutal attacks happened in the first week of this month in the districts of Batticaloa and Ampara. Videos of the attacks and the injuries caused by the Police atrocity has gone viral and netizens on the social media have questioned the actions of the police.
Freelance Muslim journalist, Shaeer Khan Farookh of Adddalaichenai in the Eastern District of Ampara was roughed up and dragged away, Thursday (2) by the Sri Lanka Police who also damaged his camera and arrested him for not wearing a face mask outside his house.
A video emerged on the social media shows Farookh being kicked, slapped and dragged away inhumanely by the police and the family trying to stop them from doing so.
“I was waiting outside my house expecting a fellow journalist when the incident happened. During the attack they broke my camera, which costs over Rs. 400,000”, Shaeer told JDS.
“They arrested me around 9 am and detained me at the police station for about 5 hours for no reason”, he added.
More attacks and torture
On Sunday (5), the Mahendrian brothers – Keerthiseelan and Anujan -, residents of Vavunikulam in Batticaloa were stopped and savagely beaten by the Police while they were returning home from a nearby petrol station in Thandiyadi. It is alleged that the Police attacked the brothers with their assault rifles.
With serious injuries in their eyes both are admitted in the Batticaloa teaching hospital. After eye surgeries they continue to be in hospital with stitches according to their family members.
Locals says the police were enraged that the brothers dared to travel to the petrol station during the lockdown enforced by the military in the area.
Another individual Joseph Mathan, a Tamil resident of Kokuvil was summoned by the Police the same Sunday for an inquiry about a personal dispute. He is alleged to have been tortured to obtain a confession. Mathan has released a video from his ward where he is admitted in the Batticaloa teaching hospital seeking justice for himself.
“I need justice and the policemen should be punished” he said in the video message.
Calling for an end to police brutality, Mathan has passionately appealed that no individual should face such brutal atrocity by the police.
Sri Lanka police has come under severe criticism from Human Rights bodies locally and globally about their brutalities and impunity.
Hundreds of Tamils and Muslims have been arrested by the notorious Counter-Terrorism Investigation Division during past 10 months, under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) who are still languishing in different prisons without being charged and not being released even after the courts granting bail or some flimsy reasons.
The action of the uniformed services in Sri Lanka came under sharp criticism during the last UNHRC session on Sri Lanka in February this year.