BBC World are going to air a documentary tomorrow (outside the UK only: available here pt1 pt2 pt3) which will demonstrate that horrific rape and torture are still taking place in Sri Lanka. It will air in the UK on Saturday at 930pm GMT. A radio version will play at 10pm tonight, an edited version will run on BBC Newsnight tonight, and it will also be featured on the Radio show From our own correspondent.
Once the programs have aired you will be able to view them using those links.
Kirsty Brimelow, QC, Chair, Bar Human Rights Committee England and Wales tells the programme, “it all equates to a crime against humanity”.
|Demonstration in Colombo – photo by Dushi|
In all the BBC uncovered evidence of 12 people – men and women – who allege they were raped and tortured in Sri Lanka as recently as this year – most of them have medical reports corroborating their stories or have had their requests for asylum in Europe accepted, based on their allegations of rape and torture. Some of the testemony is absolutely shocking.
This is Nandini’s story:
“Around five or six persons came in a van and said they wanted to talk to me, but my mum did not let them. They pushed my mum to the ground and tied my hands and legs and blindfolded me and threw me into the van. I couldn’t see where they were taking me but the journey took around five hours. I was thrown in a room. There were guards, they did not allow me to sleep, they started raping me that first night. They continued to rape me the next morning as well. I couldn’t bear the pain. They wore army uniforms.
“I have burn marks on the back of my shoulder, and also scars on my back due to the beating with pipes, and scars on my legs, knee and elbows from when I was dragged on the floor.
“I can’t sleep because of what happened to me, I often feel suicidal. I don’t feel like living.”
This is Ravi’s story:
“They beat me, punched me in the stomach, they burnt me with cigarettes, I was beaten with plastic pipes filled with sand. They covered my head with a bag soaked in petrol. Then they submerged my head in water.
“I was tortured in all the places I was kept in, they touched my private parts and crushed my testicles. They would take us for interrogation and question us .They would put my testicles in the drawer and slam the drawer shut.
“Sometimes I fell unconscious. Then they would bring someone and force me to have oral sex with him. Sometimes if we lost consciousness during the torture they would urinate on us.
“I cannot say specifically who did it. If five people came two people would be in civilian dress and two would be in the uniform of the Sri Lankan Army.”
This is Siva’s story:
“I was forced to lie flat on the big table. I was stripped naked and my hands tied down. They hit me with cricket wickets on my hips. I was screaming in pain and pleading them not to hurt me. I told them I had been tortured enough. They had plastic pipes filled with barbed wire. At first I didn’t notice, they kept my head down and then they put the plastic pipe into my rectum. When I screamed in pain, they pulled the pipe out, leaving the barbed wire inside. Then they started pulling the wire out and I couldn’t bear the pain, I told them anything, even lies.”
This is appalling and outrageous, and sadly very probably only the tip of the iceberg. For more information, please watch BBC World on Friday the 8th of November at 2030GMT
If you want to do something to help the victims then please support our appeal.