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HRW: Sri Lanka security forces using rape to extract confessions

Sri Lankan authorities are using rape as a technique to extract confessions from suspected members or supporters of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [JURIST news archive], Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [text] Tuesday. The LTTE opposed the Sri Lankan government during the country's 26-year, but HRW noted that "since the government's defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, new allegations of sexual violence by members of Sri Lankan security forces against alleged LTTE members and supporters have been reported." The 141-page HRW report details 75 cases of rape and sexual violence [HRW press release] committed by a wide range of Sri Lankan security organizations, including the military, military intelligence and the police force's criminal and terrorism investigation departments. The report describes allegations of misconduct and illustrates how men and women alike were both victims and perpetrators of the violence. HRW called for the Sri Lankan government to make "serious efforts to prevent and punish sexual violence by the police and military."

The human rights violations that plagued Sri Lanka during its nearly three-decade-long civil war have reportedly continued since the war's end in 2009. Almost a year ago, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported unlawful detentions [JURIST report], torture and extrajudicial executions, often under laws designed to combat terrorism. Months earlier, AI accused [JURIST report] Sri Lankan leadership of failing to investigate the issues of torture and impunity for past human rights violations in the country. Citing the Asian Human Rights Commission [advocacy website], AI reported approximately 323 cases of torture by the Sri Lankan police force from 1998 to 2011. These reports came on the heels of a five-year government initiative [JURIST report] known as the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, which took effect immediately after its adoption in October 2011.

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