(Hong Kong, April 21, 2011)
Devarathnam Yogendra ( 28 ) is the complainant in a bribery case against IP Wijesuriya of the Hatton Police Station, who has been indicted on a charge of obtaining bribes. This charge has been filed on the basis of a complaint made by Yogendra on November 6, 2007 and it is alleged that a decoy from the Bribery Commission arrested IP Wijesuriya immediately after he accepted a bribe. Ever since the arrest of the police officer Yogendra has been receiving death threats and spends much of his time in hiding. Kindly see the earlier Urgent Appeals by the Asian Human Rights Commission for full details. The following link to YouTube provides an interview with Yogendra in which he explains the problems he is facing.
Just today Yogendra received a letter by registered post which is in fact, a death notice. This notice states that Yogendra has died and that his funeral will take place at the cemetery. Following is the picture of the death notice.
Yogendra has suffered the agony of being under death threats for almost three years now. He has made complaints to the Inspector General of Police and all other authorities but hardly anything has been done to protect him. With the help of human rights organisations he also sought to publish his grievances hoping that this would generate a response from the government. However, even this has not led to any action for protection.
We urge everyone to write to the Inspector General of Police at the address given below as urgently as possible to ask for protection for Yogendra.
For the purpose of easy reference we are reproduce below the Urgent Appeal issued on his behalf.
SRI LANKA: An appeal to save the life of a young Tamil complainant in a bribery case against a police officer
February 14, 2011
Devarathnam Yogendra ( 28 ) is the complainant in a bribery case against IP Wijesuriya of the Hatton Police Station, who has been indicted on a charge of obtaining bribes. This charge has been filed on the basis of a complaint made byYogendra on November 6, 2007 and it is alleged that a decoy from the Bribery Commission arrested IP Wijesuriya immediately after he accepted a bribe.
Ever since the arrest of this police officer Devarathnam Yogendra has faced several attempts on his life, according to several complaints that he has made to the police, including the Inspector General of Police and other authorities including the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.
Yogendra also complains that several fabricated charges have been filed against him, one of which was dismissed by the Magistrate on January 11, 2011. Another such case is scheduled to be taken up on March 1, 2011.
On January 15, 2011, Yogendra faced another serious threat on his life as police officers picked him up from his home, handcuffed and blindfolded him and took him to a cemetery. Here he was assaulted and told that he would be killed if he acted against the police.
Yogendra is afraid to go home and is now in hiding.
He tells his story in a video here.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urge you to intervene in the case of Yogendra to prevent an assassination by the police and to help provide him protection.
Please see the latest Urgent Appeal on the case and call on the relevant authorities:AHRC-UAU-006-2011.
For further information on the case, see previous statements and articles:
AHRC-STM-009-2011, AHRC-ART-006-2011, AHRC-UAC-007-2011
The picture of the death notice: