UPDATE (SRI LANKA): Denial of fundamental rights; Need your action to save Mr. Fernando 


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-12-2003
ISSUES: Torture,

Dear Friends,

We reproduce below a letter written by the Asian Human Rights Commission at the request of the parents of Mr. Michael Anthony Fernando, to the Sri Lankan authorities.

We urge you again to write similar letters may help to save the life of a person facing a very complicated situation, due to several defects of the Justice system in Sri Lanka.

For more understanding about the case, please visit our website at http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2003/408/, http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2003/409/ and http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2003/417/

Thank you for your attention.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission


March 20, 2003

Mr. John Amaratunga
Minister of Interior
P.O. Box 572, No. 15/5,
Baladaksha, Mawatha,
Colombo 3,
Fax: +941 389021 or 385526
Email: interior@sltnet.lk

Dear Minister,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has been informed by the parents of Mr. Michael Anthony Fernando that he is to be removed from the national hospital of Colombo and that he will be transferred to a prison hospital. They fear for his life.

As is well known, Mr. Fernando was imprisoned for one year for contempt of court, which the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers has described as “an act of injustice done by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.”

Thereafter he was severely assaulted while he was in prison custody. The news of this incident provoked outrage locally and internationally. As a result, the government ordered an investigation and was satisfied that such an assault had taken place. On that basis two prison officers were arrested and a case filed against them. The arrest of the officers provoked a strike by prison officers throughout the country. The government had to intervene to stop the strike.

A fundamental rights violation submission has been filed on Mr. Fernando’s behalf, in which the two prison officers who allegedly assaulted him, the head of the prison and the prison commissioner are the respondents.

Meanwhile Mr. Fernando’s mental condition has deteriorated and he was thus taken for treatment. His family confirms that his situation is not normal.

Given the severe physical assault and inhuman treatment suffered by Mr. Fernando it is quite natural that he is distrustful that he will be safe. Furthermore, the case begun on his behalf against prison officers and the commissioner himself gives more reason for apprehension.

Under these circumstances, we seek your intervention to guarantee the safety, security and mental wellbeing of Mr. Fernando.

Yours sincerely,

*** Please send a copy of your letter to AHRC Urgent Appeals:
Email: <ua@ahrchk.org>
Fax: +(852) – 26986367

Please contact the Urgent Appeals coordinator if you require more
information or wish to report human rights violations.
AHRC Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission
Unit D, 7th Floor, Mongkok Commercial Centre,
16 – 16B Argyle Street, Kowloon, HONGKONG
Tel: +(852) – 2698-6339
Fax: +(852) – 2698-6367
E-mail: ua@ahrchk.org

Please contact the AHRC Urgent Appeals Coordinator if you require
further information or to make requests for further appeals.

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


Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-12-2003
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Torture,