SRI LANKA: A Young Man Under Life-Support System After Tortured by Eight Police Officers

Victim: Waragodamudalige Gerald Mervin Perera (39) 

AHRC is alarmed by the torture of Waragodamudalige Gerald Mervin Perera, 39, father of 2 children, by eight police officers at the Wattala Police Station in Sri Lanka. The victim, Gerald Perera is presently under life support system in a hospital due to the injuries caused by the police. 

Gerald Perera was arrested by the officers of the Wattala Police Station at about 12.45 P.M. on 3 June 2002 and he was arrested in the presence of his wife W. P. Padma Wickramaratne. Ten officers were present at the time of the arrest and none of then wore police uniforms. Then Gerald Perera was taken into the Wattala Police Station and was brutally assaulted by the officers attached to this police station namely, Sena Suraweera, the Officer In Charge (O.I.C.) of the police station; Sub Inspector (S.I.) Kosala Navaratne, O.I.C. Crimes, S. I. Suresh Gunaratne, S.I. Weerasinghe, S.I. Renuka, Polcie Constable (P.C.) Nalin Jayasinghe, P.C. Perera and another police personnel. 

Gerald Perera¡¯s hands were tied behind the back, eyes were blindfolded and was hung on a beam and was brutally tortured for about one hour. Gerald Perera was questioned about a murder case about which he knew nothing. He was kept at the police station on the night of 3 June 2002 and Gerald Perera was later told that it is due to some misinformation that he was arrested. On the 4 June 2002 morning Ranjit Perera, brother of Gerald Perera, the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Pradhesiya Sabha (Provincial Council) visited the police station and inquired about Gerald Perera from the OIC of the police station, who said that Gerald Perera has been taken to custody due to false information. 

Gerald Perera was released from the police station on the morning of 4 of June 2002. As Gerald Perera was complaining of severe pains he was taken to Yakkala Wickramarachchi Ayurvedic Hospital. The doctor who examined Gerald Perera advised that he should be taken to a good hospital as he is in serious condition. Gerald Perera was then taken to Navaloka Hospital in Colombo who has been there until now. While in the hospital Gerald Perera made a statement to an officer from Grandpass Police Station, Colombo, about the way he came about the injuries. While all efforts have been made to save Gerald Perera’s life, the situation turned worse by 15 June 2002 and the doctors have advised the family that the situation of Gerald Perera is very critical and that he may not survive. 

Basil Fernando, executive director of Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission said, \”the government of Sri Lanka must guarantee that all medical care is supplied to this torture victim. It is quite likely that the life support system may be removed, as the cost of it is very high. As this is a disaster brought about by the state agents it is necessary for the state to take the responsibility for all the costs and do whatever it can to save the life of this unfortunate victim. Meanwhile it is also essential to immediately arrest all the perpetrators (eight police officers) of this crime. This crime falls under Act No.22 of 1994, which prescribes mandatory 7-year imprisonment for torture by any state officer and if the victim does not survive the crime will be one of murder.\” 

Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC 
17 June 2002, Hong Kong 

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : MR-13-2002
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Torture,