SRI LANKA: Angeline Roshana case – AG fails to prosecute one year after police torture


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-42-2001
ISSUES: Torture,

SRI LANKA: Torture by police, impunity, failure of prosecutions system to provide adequate remedy for human rights abuses (Art. 2 ICCPR) 

[This appeal has been updated. The latest UPDATE is available at:

AHRC draws your attention to the casse of Angline Roshana who was arrested and tortured on 3rd December 2000. Despite many interventions, the Attorney General of Sri Lanka has refused to act Under Act No. 22 of 1994, which gives him the power to prosecute offenders for Torture or other forms of Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In this case many persons have come forward to give evidence. We also produce below the relevant portions of the Judicial Medical Officers report, which finds there were injuries to buttocks and thighs. Reports indicate acts of barbarous cruelty by the police officers. We urge you to write to the Attorney General and urge him to do his duty according to the law. 



– Arrested by the Narahenpita police on 03.12.2000 around 8pm and taken to Narahenpita police station. 
– Here she assaulted by three police officers with a rubber hose, wooden club and with another object with wires around it. 
– The assault continued for 3 to 4 hours upto 2.00am. 
– She was laid on a table and the soles of her feet were hit. Before being taken from her home she was also slapped. 

Medical Examination 

I. The following injuries were found: 
(1) Contusion 4 bv 3″ lateral and postero-lateral left shoulder area. 
(2) Contusion 2″ by 2″ back of the upper left arm close to the arm pit. 
(3) Contusion 3″ by I” obliquely across the back of mid-left upper arm 
(4) Contusion 3″by 3″ lateral right shoulders area 
(5) Contusion 3″ 1/1/2″ the mid left buttock 
(6) Contusion 2,1/2″ diameter lower left buttock extending down to the upper left thigh 
(7) Contusion 3″by 1,l/2 lower right buttock 

II. The following conclusions were found: 
(a) All injuries are contusions and have been caused by assault with blunt objects like rubber hose, wooden club etc. 
{b) They are around 2 to 4 davs old and consistent with the history of assault onthenight of 03.12. 2000 
(c) Injuries are non grievous 
Dr L.B.L Alwis 
MBBs (Cey) DLM (Sri Lanka MD (Sri Lanka) 
Consultant Judicial Med)ca1 Office) 


Please write to the Attorney General asking why he has failed to prosecute more than one year after this torture, despite the presence of strong legislation and ample evidence. 


Dear Attorney General 

Re: Case Of Angeline Roshana, Torture by Narahenpita Police, Dec. 3, 2000 

You are fully aware of this case, yet still you have refused to act under the law, Act.22 of 1994 which incorporated the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment into Sri Lankan law. Your refusal to act is shocking and is an encouragement of criminal activities committed by law enforcement officers. I urge you to do your duty and stop heinous acts of torture. 

Thank you 

Hon. Mr. K.C. Kamalasabesan 
Attorney General 
Attorney – General’s Department 
Colombo 12 
Fax: +941 436 421 
SALUTATION: Dear Attorney General 

For your information, following is a letter previously sent to the National Commission of Human Rights in Sri Lanka on 22nd March 2001 

Mr. Fais Musthapa 
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka 
No. 50, Dr. N W Perera Mawatha 
Borella, Colombo 8 

FAX: +941 694 924 

RE: The inquiry on behalf of Angeline Roshana into the complaint of torture by some officers of Narahenpita police 

Dear Mr. Musthapa 

Asian Human Rights Commission has learned of the inquiry into this case. This letter is to inform that we have requested Mr. Nimal Dassanayake, Attorney-at-Law, to represent AHRC at this inquiry. Your cooperation on this matter will be greatly appreciated. 

AHRC wishes to keep your Commission informed that it will be referring to Angeline Roshana’s matter in its submission to the upcoming 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. AHRC will submit that this matter should be prosecuted under Sri Lankan law, making full use of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act No.22 of 1994. 

Thank you. 

Yours sincerely 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-42-2001
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Torture,