9/10/2009

Ninety-one suspects die in police custody in Sri Lanka under current President Mahinda Rajapakse

(September 10, 2009 - Lanka Polity) The number of suspects died while they are in police custody is increasing rapidly after present President Mahinda Rajapakse assumed duty including the portfolio of Minister of Defense, a report submitted by the government in the parliament said.

Government Chief Whip Dinesh Gunawardhana in response to a question asked by Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) said that 91 suspects died in police custody since November 2005 to 16 August during the tenure of the present Minister of Defense.

The number increased drastically as 11 persons died in 2006, 20 in 2007, 26 in 2008 and 32 in 2009 so far.

A considerable number of suspects were killed recently by police citing that they were killed as they attempted to attack police and to escape whilst they had accompanied police to recover hidden weapons. Human rights organizations claim that this kind of police action amounts to extra-judicial killings.

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