The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (MF) is a registered charity which for the last 25 years has helped over 50,000 torture survivors through the five treatment centres it has in the UK.
Read more at http:// www.torturecare.org.uk/index.php
Today Sri Lanka is the second highest country of referral to the MF with 199 new referrals in 2009, placing it above
Afghanistan and below Iran as indicated in its Annual Review which can be accessed here http://www.torturecare.org.uk/files/MF_Annual_Review.pdf
Medical Foundation doctors noted that the severity of torture methods and scarring seen last year had increased. Over half of the Sri Lankan clients suffered burns, nearly half had been raped and almost 80% had been whipped or beaten. The Medical Foundation is uniquely equipped to deal with the many issues presented by this client group, through clinicians from
a range of disciplines working together. Last year saw the reintroduction of a Tamil-speaking therapy group.
Given below is a brief case study of one of MF’s Sri Lankan referrals; she is currently undergoing therapy which will hopefully help rebuild some semblance of a life after the harrowing experience she has endured.
Beaten, burned and raped – hot chilli rubbed in her eyes, Anandi* finally confessed to a series of charges after several weeks of torture. The final straw was being beaten with a piece of rubber which was studded with nails. This, Anandi told the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, was unbearable, and made her confess. The charge sheet was written in Sinhalese. As a Sri Lankan Tamil, Anandi couldn’t even read what she had confessed to; she only knew she had to make the pain stop.
Despite later escaping and making her way to the UK, her troubles were far from over. Anandi must now fight for her right not to be returned to a country where she believes she would be instantly arrested, persecuted, tortured
or even killed. She has already had her asylum claim refused and is in the process of appealing against that decision.
More painful still is not being able to contact her children. Anandi doesn’t know what happened to them when she escaped from her Sri Lankan prison two years ago. She has not been able to speak to her daughter or her two sons since she fled.
Anandi had been staying with her Aunt when she was picked up and questioned by three men from the Criminal Investigation Department, (CID) because, they said, they had ‘suspicions about her.’ She was then held captive and tortured every day for six weeks. She believes this was solely because of her Tamil ethnicity.
Anandi has received one to one counselling at the Medical Foundation and is now receiving group therapy to help her begin to rebuild her life.