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SRI LANKA: School going child missing after torture by principal — police refuse to investigate – AHRC

[Press Release, Thursday, 2 February 2012 07:29 No Comment]

logo The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mohamad Rasul (11) is a resident of No: 33/05, Palliyawatte, Poruthota, Koshshikade. Rasul was a student of Palanguthura Al-Fala School. On the 19 January after being subjected to severe torture by the principle Rasul was expelled from the school at 12.30 pm. Up to now Rasul remains missing. The officers attached to the Kochcikade Police Station are refusing to accept or investigate the complaint made by his mother.

CASE NARRATIVE:

Mohamad Rasul (11) is a resident of No: 33/05, Palliyawatte, Poruthota, Koshshikade. Rasul was a student of Palanguthura Al-Fala School. On the 19 January after being subjected to severe torture by the principle Rasul was expelled from the school at 12.30 pm. Up to now Rasul remains missing. The officers attached to the Kochcikade Police Station is refusing to accept or investigate the complaint made by his mother.

According to his mother, Ms. Iyinun Fathima, on 19 January 2012, Rasul went to his school as usual to attend his education sessions in his class. After the school sessions usually Rasul returned to the house around 1.45 pm. But on this particular day as he did not return and after waiting for some time Fathima went in search for him.

Some fellow students told her that after Rasul came to the class two teacher accused him of stealing some money belonging to another child. Then those teachers have beaten Rasul and later brought to the office of the principal. Then the principal also beat Rasul severely. Later these students have learned that the certain money have been found from the possession of Rasul. Further students have learned that Rasul have confessed to have eaten some food from the canteen with Rs. 60. After beating him the principal expelled Rasul from the school at 12.30 pm asking him to come to the school the next day with the mother. Then Rasul have left the school screaming in distress and pain.

Then Fathima went to the school and met the principle Mr. Mohamad Jaseem. She has inquired as to what happened to her child at the school, stating that he had not yet returned home. The principal told her that he punished the child for stealing some money and then sent him home. When the Fathima accused the principal for sending the small child who was just 11 years old alone to his home the principle stated that it was to punish the child.

Then Fathima searched everywhere possible but could not get any information regarding the child. She went to the Kochchikade Police Station to make a complaint. Further she explained about the torture of her child by two teachers and the principal. After listening to the whole story the officers at the police station told her that as the matter happened at the school there was no need to make record the complaint at the police. Though she insisted the police officers to record the complaint and take all the necessary action for search the child the officers refused to do anything. In this the police have failed in their duty to protect an innocent child in that it does not matter where an offense is committed. It is their sworn duty to uphold the law.

Fathima states that police have failed to comply with the law. She further states that her rights and the rights of her child have been violated by the school principal, two teachers and the police officers attached to the Kochchikade Police Station. Later Fathima made a complaint to the Zonal Educational Office at Negombo and to the Kochchikade Police Station with the assistance of Civil Society Organization, Right 2 Life Orgainization. But still both authorities have not yet taken any action for find the child or investigate the crimes.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

The Asian Human Rights Commission has reported innumerable cases of torturing innocent children by the several educational institutions which are illegal under international and local law which have taken place at different educational institutions in the country over the past few years.

The State of Sri Lanka sign and ratified the CAT on 3 January 1994. Following state obligations Sri Lanka adopted Act number 22 of 1994 the law adopted by the Sri Lankan parliament making torture a crime that can be punishable for minimum seven years and not less than ten years on being proven guilty. The Attorney General of Sri Lanka is suppose to file indictments in the case where credible evidence were found on torturing people by state officers.

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 torturing by teachers and the principle 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 separate letters to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on this regard.

To support this appeal please click here:

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SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________,

SRI LANKA: School going child missing after torture by principal — police refuse to investigate

Name of the victim: school boy Mohamad Rasul (11) is a resident of No: 33/05, Palliyawatte, Poruthota, Koshshikade
Alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Mohamad Jaseem, principle of Palanguthura Al-Fala School
2. Two other unidentified teachers of Palanguthura Al-Fala School
Date of incident: 19 January 2012
Place of incident: Palanguthura Al-Fala School

I am writing to express my serious concern over the case of Mohamad Rasul (11) is a resident of No: 33/05, Palliyawatte, Poruthota, Koshshikade. Rasul was a student of Palanguthura Al-Fala School. On the 19 January after being subjected to severe torture by the principle Rasul was expelled from the school at 12.30 pm. Up to now Rasul remains missing. The officers attached to the Kochcikade Police Station are refusing to accept or investigate the complaint made by his mother.

According to his mother, Ms. Iyinun Fathima, on 19 January 2012, Rasul went to his school as usual to attend his education sessions in his class. After the school sessions usually Rasul returned to the house around 1.45 pm. But on this particular day as he did not return and after waiting for some time Fathima went in search for him.

Some fellow students told her that after Rasul came to the class two teacher accused him of stealing some money belonging to another child. Then those teachers have beaten Rasul and later brought to the office of the principal. Then the principal also beat Rasul severely. Later these students have learned that the certain money have been found from the possession of Rasul. Further students have learned that Rasul have confessed to have eaten some food from the canteen with Rs. 60. After beating him the principal expelled Rasul from the school at 12.30 pm asking him to come to the school the next day with the mother. Then Rasul have left the school screaming in distress and pain.

Then Fathima went to the school and met the principle Mr. Mohamad Jaseem. She has inquired as to what happened to her child at the school, stating that he had not yet returned home. The principal told her that he punished the child for stealing some money and then sent him home. When the Fathima accused the principal for sending the small child who was just 11 years old alone to his home the principle stated that it was to punish the child.

Then Fathima searched everywhere possible but could not get any information regarding the child. She went to the Kochchikade Police Station to make a complaint. Further she explained about the torture of her child by two teachers and the principal. After listening to the whole story the officers at the police station told her that as the matter happened at the school there was no need to make record the complaint at the police. Though she insisted the police officers to record the complaint and take all the necessary action for search the child the officers refused to do anything. In this the police have failed in their duty to protect an innocent child in that it does not matter where an offense is committed. It is their sworn duty to uphold the law.

Fathima states that police have failed to comply with the law. She further states that her rights and the rights of her child have been violated by the school principal, two teachers and the police officers attached to the Kochchikade Police Station. Later Fathima made a complaint to the Zonal Educational Office at Negombo and to the Kochchikade Police Station with the assistance of Civil Society Organization, Right 2 Life Orgainization. But still both authorities have not yet taken any action for find the child or investigate the crimes.

I request your urgent intervention to ensure that the authorities listed below instigate an immediate investigation into the allegations of torture by the school teachers and the principal 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,

———————
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

SRI LANKA: School going child missing after torture by principal — police refuse to investigate — Asian Human Rights Commission

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