COLOMBO: 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 civil war, a rights group said yesterday.
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 legal and “secret” detention centres in Sri Lanka.
“Most rape victims spoke to Human Rights Watch outside Sri Lanka, and corroborated their accounts with medical and legal reports,” it said. “All suffered torture and ill-treatment beyond the sexual violence.”
The military dismissed the 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, the military said.
“The report by the HRW is not more than a piece of speculative creativity and the allegations contained therein are far from the truth,” the military said.
In the 141-page report, “We Will Teach You a Lesson”, HRW said most victims spoke to them after leaving the island and often bribed officials to get out of the country. AFP