UN rights committee orders Sri Lanka to compensate Canadian torture victim
UN rights committee orders Sri Lanka to compensate Canadian torture victim

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Committee [official website] has ordered [decision, PDF] the Sri Lankan government to provide Canadian Roy Samathanam with “adequate compensation” for his unlawful detention and torture. The committee determined [National Post report] that Sri Lanka needed to locate and prosecute those responsible for Samathanam’s torture. Samathanam called the finding “a measure of justice.”

A UN human rights experts said in May that detainees in Sri Lanka are still experiencing torture [JURIST report] as a tactic used by criminal and terrorism investigators seven years after the country’s civil war ended. The observations echoed those of Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website], which reported [press release] last year that police forces in Sri Lanka regularly torture [JURIST report] and mistreat criminal suspects in custody. HRW Asia director Brad Adams said, “[t]he Sri Lankan police treat the use of torture as an ordinary way of obtaining confessions.” HRW compiled allegations [report] of police torture which took place in Sri Lanka between 2014-15 and included beatings, electric shocks, use of stress positions, and failure to provide needed medical treatment among others. The rights group called on the Sri Lankan government to create an independent oversight authority to monitor the police actions and bring an end to the police abuse.