Sri Lankan forces alleged of raping Tamil detainees
COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces continue to use rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected Tamil rebels nearly four years after the end of the island’s civil war, a rights group alleged Tuesday.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed widespread rape of detainees during the separatist conflict that ended in May 2009, and said politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police has continued.
The report, coinciding with the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva, gathered accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse between 2006 and 2012 in both legal and “secret” detention centres in Sri Lanka, HRW said.
“Most of the rape victims spoke to Human Rights Watch outside of Sri Lanka, and corroborated their accounts with medical and legal reports,” the report said. “All suffered torture and ill-treatment beyond the sexual violence.”
Sri Lanka’s military dismissed the HRW report as “speculative” creativity, but said there had been five cases of sexual violence alleged to have been committed by seven soldiers between 2007 and May 2009, the height of fighting during the war.
Five soldiers had been dismissed for sexual violence, the military said, adding that the HRW report was an exaggeration.
“The report by the HRW is not more than a piece of speculative creativity and the allegations contained therein are far from the truth,” military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.