Continued from last Sunday
The Detention cells – Joseph Camp
I have already referred to Joseph Camp.
“In 2016/17, seven Tamils interviewed by ITJP were brutally tortured in the main army garrison in Vavuniya (Joseph Camp. The ITJP studied in detail a variety of detention sites inside Joseph Camp in its March 2017 report based on 46 victims’ testimony and corroborated by 93 other accounts.
The ITJPs testimony reveals that the Terrorism Investigation Division of the police (TID is still taking suspects to Joseph Camp for torture during 2016 and the early part of 2017, though they are not the only unit to use this site for this purpose”.
The Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission
The national Human Rights Commission reported in 2016 that it “received complaints of persons being held at detention centres that are not gazetted”, which it said “promoted an environment conducive to torture”. Upon inquiry it was revealed the places at which persons were held for at least twelve hours were officers of the TID but not gazetted detention centres. The TID has only three places of detention – Boosa, TID Vavuniya and TID Colombo.
The Victims’ Statements
There now follows a section where the statements made by the victims are recorded. I reproduce some of them here. I have made no attempt to modify the statements made to something less offensive. As an example, if a victim stated he was called a “mother-fucker” I have not said “mother f……er”. If people find this too offensive, there is no compulsion to continue reading.
I have made this mistake once, and will not do it again. It was in writing my book, “Sri Lanka: Sexually Violence of Tamils by the Armed Forces”. I had a photograph of a 5-year old girl raped by the Armed Forces. Several people asked me to remove this photograph because it was too offensive. Foolishly I did and have regretted it ever since. If it is acceptable for the Armed Forces to rape a 5-year old girl, then, by the same token, it is acceptable for us to publish the photograph so that the world can see what has gone on (and is still going on) in Sri Lanka.
The ITJP report is based on information from 24 cases. All but three were males. When such victims say that they were ‘raped’, they were males who were raped orally or rectally.
The statements made by the victims