Document - Sri Lanka: Child feared abducted in Sri Lanka

URGENT ACTION

UA: 172/13 Index: ASA 37/017/2013 Sri Lanka Date: 4 July 2013

URGENT ACTION

CHILD FEARED ABDUCTED IN SRI LANKA

Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj, 15 years old, has been missing since 13 June, after he failed to arrive at school in Vavuniya, northern Sri Lanka. His family fears that he has been abducted, and he may be at risk of torture or extrajudicial execution. Despite complaints lodged with the local police by his family, the police have failed to investigate.

Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj left his home in Ukkulankulam, near Vavuniya, to go to school as usual on the morning of 13 June, but never came back. When he did not return home that evening, his aunt went to look for him at his school, and was told that he had not arrived that day. Another of his aunts went to the Vavuniya police to report him missing. However, the police did not take the case seriously; they refused to register the case and told her that he would eventually turn up. The following morning, his aunt returned to the police to lodge a complaint, at which point they assured her that they would visit the school to obtain a statement. However, they did not do so.

On 28 June at about midnight, a friend of the family who had been waiting at a bus stand in Vavuniya noticed an auto-rickshaw pass by carrying three men and a young boy with his hands bound behind his back. He called Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj’s father who came to meet him, and they waited for the rickshaw to return. A little later, the same rickshaw returned, but was only carrying one of the men. It stopped, dropped off the man and drove away. Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj’s father and his friend immediately caught hold of the man and took him to the Vavuniya police. When he was caught, the man boasted of having connections to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and senior police officers. The Vavuniya police turned them away saying it was too late at night to deal with the matter. Therefore, they questioned the man themselves, asking him to describe the boy in the rickshaw. The man described the boy as having a red scar on his ear and lip, just like Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj.

Despite having identified the man as a suspected abductor, the Vavuniya police did not call him in for questioning and have failed to conduct any investigation to date. When the family asked the police why they were not conducting an investigation, they said that they were awaiting the return of their Senior Inspector for further instructions. The family suspects that Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj may have been abducted by people with connections to political figures and senior law enforcement officials.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

Calling on the Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities, who are under the direct supervision of the Defence Secretary, to immediately launch an urgent, thorough and transparent investigation into the alleged abduction of Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj, and keep his family informed of all efforts to determine his whereabouts.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 15 AUGUST 2013 TO:

Inspector General of Police

N K Illangakoon

New Secretariat, Colombo 1

Sri Lanka

Fax: +94 11 244 0440 (keep trying)

Email: igp@police.lk

Salutation: Dear Inspector General

Defence Secretary

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Ministry of Defence and Urban

Development

15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha,

Colombo 03, Sri Lanka

Fax: +94 11 254 1529 (keep trying)

Email: secdef@sltnet.lk

Salutation: Dear Defence Secretary

President

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Presidential Secretariat �Colombo 1 Sri Lanka

Fax: + 94 11 244 6657 (keep trying)

Email: prsec@presidentsoffice.lk / lalith@icta.lk

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

CHILD FEARED ABDUCTED IN SRI LANKA

ADditional Information

In Sri Lanka, the persistent failure to hold perpetrators accountable for human rights violations and abuses has fostered a persistent culture of impunity, in which arbitrary detention, torture, extra-judicial killings and other serious violations continue to be regularly reported.

Amnesty International continues to receive reports of enforced disappearances and abductions in Sri Lanka, particularly in the north of the country. These incidents are sometimes thought to be as a consequence of an individual’s political activity, human rights work or journalism, or sometimes for the purposes of extortion or other criminal enterprises. The Sri Lankan authorities have consistently failed to adequately investigate disappearances and abductions and bring perpetrators to justice.

Name: Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj

Gender m/f: M

UA: 172/13 Index: ASA 37/017/2013 Issue Date: 4 July 2013

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