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SRI LANKA: Police denied justice to the student who was fatally assaulted – AHRC

[Press Release, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 12:23 No Comment]

SRI LANKA: Police denied justice to the student who was fatally assaulted

ISSUES: Denial of justice; impunity; rule of law

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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Kaluthanthrige Jesus Deneicios Fernando (15), of No: 22/30, Asarappa Road, Asarappa Watte, Negombo was grievously assaulted by some hotel staff on the instigation of the hotel owner. He underwent serious surgery and remains in hospital. The Headquarters Inspector of the Negombo Headquarters Police Station will not carry out his sworn duty to protect this innocent young man in order to fulfill the whims and fancies of the wealthy owner of the hotel. As is typical in these cases it is doubtful that any steps to prosecute the culprits of this crime will take place.

CASE NARRATIVE:

image_thumb Mr. Kaluthanthrige Jesus Deneicios Fernando (15), of No: 22/30, Asarappa Road, Asarappa Watte, Negombo was a grade 10 student of St. Peter’s Central College, Negombo. On 25 August 2011, at 7 pm Jesus went to buy dinner for his home from the nearby restaurant at Periyamulla in Negombo named the Anser Hotel. He was accompanied by one of his friends. When his friend wanted to park his bicycle which they used to go there, in front of the restaurant, a staff member of the restaurant refused them permission. He then started to use obscene language and when the owner of the restaurant intervened he directed the other members of his staff to assault Jesus and his friend with pole. Then they started to beat both of them severely. Jesus’ friend was able to escape but Jesus was not able to leave.

Later a three wheeler which was travelling on the road later took him and dropped him near his home and his relatives admitted him for treatment at the Negombo Base Hospital. As his condition worsened he was transferred to the National Hospital of Colombo by ambulance. There he underwent to neurosurgery and later his relatives were informed by the doctors that a section of his skull was removed. They further informed his father to make a complaint to the Police Post of the Hospital regarding the criminal assault.

His father went to the Hospital Police Post, but the officers at the post refused to accept the complaint stating that the Hospital Police Post of the Negombo Base Hospital may have recorded it. His father then went to the Police Post of Negombo Base Hospital and tried to make a complaint there but they also refused and directed him to go to the Headquarters Police Station of Negombo.

When he went to the Headquarters Police Station the officers at that station informed him that as the other victim of the incident had made a complaint so he did not need to make a further complaint on behalf of his son. He tried to explain the situation and that Jesus was in critical condition but the officers refused to accept the complaint.

After the surgery Jesus was transferred to the Ward 1 of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After 25 days he was transferred to the Negombo Base Hospital for further treatment. When he was transferred the doctors asked his father to buy some medicine for his treatment but this medication cost Rs. 65 000/= which he could not offered as a ordinary fisherman. He then went to the owner of the Ansar Hotel who ordered the assault on Jesus who said that he would provide Rs. 150,000/= under the condition that there would not be any legal proceedings against him discharge Jesus from the hospital against the doctor’s advice. Considering the seriousness of the boy’s condition he did not agree to these terms.

Later the father of Jesus was threatened with death by the several persons and asked not to take any legal action against the owner of the Anser Hotel.

On 3 November 2011, Jesus was transferred to the Ragama Rehabilitation Hospital for further treatments. Still he is under treatment as an indoor patient. Jesus and his family members have suffered enormously due to this gratuitous assault. However, to-date the officers attached to the Negombo Headquarters Police Station has not taken any steps to investigate the incident and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime.

The relatives of the victims believe that states that the Headquarters Inspector of the Negombo Headquarters Police Station will not carry out his sworn duty to protect this innocent young man in order to fulfill the whims and fancies of the wealthy owner of the hotel. As is typical in these cases it is doubtful that any steps to prosecute the culprits of this crime will take place.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has reported innumerable cases deny investigation and prosecution by the Sri Lankan police which are illegal under international and local law which have taken place at different Police Station in the country over the past few years.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting an immediate investigation into the allegations of investigation and prosecution by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of a state. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department. Further, please also request the NPC and the IGP to have a special investigation into the malpractices of the police officers for abusing the state officers’ powers.

Please note that the AHRC has also written a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers on this regard.

To support this appeal please click here:

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SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: Police denied justice to the student who was fatally assaulted

Name of the victim: Mr. Kaluthanthrige Jesus Deneicios Fernando (15), of No: 22/30, Asarappa Road, Asarappa Watte, Negombo

Alleged perpetrators: Police officers attached to the Headquarters Police Station of Negombo

Date of incident: 25 August 2011

Place of incident: Headquarters Police Station of Negombo

I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Mr. Kaluthanthrige Jesus Deneicios Fernando (15), of No: 22/30, Asarappa Road, Asarappa Watte, Negombo. Jesus was a grade 10 student of St. Peter’s Central College, Negombo. On 25 August 2011, at 7 pm Jesus went to buy dinner for his home from the nearby restaurant at Periyamulla in Negombo named the Anser Hotel. He was accompanied by one of his friends. When his friend wanted to park his bicycle which they used to go there, in front of the restaurant, a staff member of the restaurant refused them permission. He then started to use obscene language and when the owner of the restaurant intervened he directed the other members of his staff to assault Jesus and his friend with pole. Then they started to beat both of them severely. Jesus’ friend was able to escape but Jesus was not able to leave.

Later a three wheeler which was travelling on the road later took him and dropped him near his home and his relatives admitted him for treatment at the Negombo Base Hospital. As his condition worsened he was transferred to the National Hospital of Colombo by ambulance. There he underwent to neurosurgery and later his relatives were informed by the doctors that a section of his skull was removed. They further informed his father to make a complaint to the Police Post of the Hospital regarding the criminal assault.

His father went to the Hospital Police Post, but the officers at the post refused to accept the complaint stating that the Hospital Police Post of the Negombo Base Hospital may have recorded it. His father then went to the Police Post of Negombo Base Hospital and tried to make a complaint there but they also refused and directed him to go to the Headquarters Police Station of Negombo.

When he went to the Headquarters Police Station the officers at that station informed him that as the other victim of the incident had made a complaint so he did not need to make a further complaint on behalf of his son. He tried to explain the situation and that Jesus was in critical condition but the officers refused to accept the complaint.

After the surgery Jesus was transferred to the Ward 1 of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After 25 days he was transferred to the Negombo Base Hospital for further treatment. When he was transferred the doctors asked his father to buy some medicine for his treatment but this medication cost Rs. 65 000/= which he could not offered as a ordinary fisherman. He then went to the owner of the Ansar Hotel who ordered the assault on Jesus who said that he would provide Rs. 150,000/= under the condition that there would not be any legal proceedings against him discharge Jesus from the hospital against the doctor’s advice. Considering the seriousness of the boy’s condition he did not agree to these terms.

Later the father of Jesus was threatened with death by the several persons and asked not to take any legal action against the owner of the Anser Hotel.

On 3 November 2011, Jesus was transferred to the Ragama Rehabilitation Hospital for further treatments. Still he is under treatment as an indoor patient. Jesus and his family members have suffered enormously due to this gratuitous assault. However, to-date the officers attached to the Negombo Headquarters Police Station has not taken any steps to investigate the incident and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime.

The relatives of the victims believe that states that the Headquarters Inspector of the Negombo Headquarters Police Station will not carry out his sworn duty to protect this innocent young man in order to fulfill the whims and fancies of the wealthy owner of the hotel. As is typical in these cases it is doubtful that any steps to prosecute the culprits of this crime will take place.

I request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations refusing to investigate the crime by the police perpetrators, and the prosecution of those proven to be responsible under the criminal law of the country for misusing powers of state officers and for wrongful prosecution. The officers involved must also be subjected to internal investigations for the breach of the department orders as issued by the police department.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. N K Illangakoon

Inspector General of Police

New Secretariat

Colombo 1

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877

E-mail: igp@police.lk

2. Ms. Eva Wanasundara

Attorney General

Attorney General’s Department

Colombo 12

SRI LANKA

Fax: +94 11 2 436421

E-mail: ag@attorneygeneral.gov.lk

3. Secretary

National Police Commission

3rd Floor, Rotunda Towers

109 Galle Road

Colombo 03

SRI LANKA

Tel: +94 11 2 395310

Fax: +94 11 2 395867

E-mail: npcgen@sltnet.lk or polcom@sltnet.lk

4. Secretary

Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission

No. 108

Barnes Place

Colombo 07

SRI LANKA

Tel: +9411 2694925, +9411 2685980, +9411 2685981

Fax: +9411 2694924 (General) +94112696470 (Chairman)

E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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Document Type :

Urgent Appeal Case

Document ID :

AHRC-UAC-013-2012

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