Sri Lanka: A Youth Tortured to Death in Police Custody 


Urgent Appeal Case: UA990204
ISSUES: Torture,

AHRC UA990204 Sri Lanka 04 February 1999


Name of the Victim : K. R. ANURA SAMPPATH of Veera Puranappu Mawatha, Lakshapathiya, Moratuwa
Age : 24
Date of Death : 30 December 1998
Place Of Death : Police Station, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Anura Sampath was taken to the Police Station at Moratuwa on the 30th December 1998, by some police officers who said that he is needed for taking a statement. He was taken from his sister’s house where he was helping with some construction work. As he did not return till late, his brother visited him at the Moratuwa Police Station at night and he saw Anura Sampath. Anura Sampath told his brother that he was severely beaten up by some police officers and that he might be killed by them. On the basis of this, family members sought intervention of many persons to get Anura Sampath released from the police station. Next day when the family members visited the police station, Anura Sampath was not found there. A police officer told them that he had been taken away to take a statement.

The family was later told by the OIC (Officer-In-Charge) of the police station that Anura Sampath was dead. The police provided misleading information about the whereabouts of Sampath’s body. Later, the family found the body of Anura Sampath at Kalubovilla Hospital. Due to the family’s protest the body was produced before a doctor at the Colombo General Hospital. At the postmortem inquiry, the finding was that the death was due to assault. The inquiry revealed that there were 24 internal injuries.

News of the death at police station provoked protests at Moratuwa town. During the funeral procession people carried banners condemning the police. Teargas was spread during the funeral to prevent the people marching to the police station carrying the corpse of Anura Sampath.

Some Sinhala news in Sri Lanka papers reported this incident.

Subsequent the Police have tried to create the impression that death was caused due the suspect trying to attempting to jump out of the police jeep.

No satisfactory inquiry has been conducted about this death.


Please send letters and faxes urgently to the offices mentioned below urging:

1. an impartial inquiry be conducted into the custodial death of S. K. Anura Sampath and;
2. perpetrators of this inhuman act to be brought to justice.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Your Excellency,
Re. Death of Anura Sampath at Police Custody at Moratuwa Police Station
We have learned about the death of the above-named young man at the police station of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. The family of the victim complains that this death occurred due to assault by police officers at the Moratuwa Police Station. It appears that no satisfactory inquiry has been conducted on this incident. Unfortunately the reports of brutal deaths allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan police are very many.
We urge that an inquiry be conducted into this matter and perpetrators be brought to justice.
Please send your appeals to:
Her Excellency President Chandrika B. Kumaratunga, Presidential Residence, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka
Fax: 94 – 1 – 333 – 703

Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, New Secretariat, Colombo 1, Sri Lanka
Officer In Charge, Moratuwa Police Station, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
You are strongly recommended to send above appeals, especially by e-mail, to following Sri Lankan embassies requesting them to forward the appeals to relevant Sri Lankan authorities in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Dr. Warnasena Rasaputram, Embassy of Sri Lanka, 2148 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: (1-202) 232-7181 and (1-202) 483-8017, E-mail:
Hon. High-Commissioner, The High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
13 Hyde Park Gardens, London W2 2LU, United Kingdom, Fax: (0171) 262-7970, E-mail:
Hon. Ambassador, Permanent Mission and Consulate General of Sri Lanka
56, Rue De Moillebeau, , 5th Floor, 1 209, Geneva 19, Switzerland, Fax: (41-22) 734 9084, E-mail:
and Sri Lanka’s diplomatic representatives in your country

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA990204
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Torture,