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* Sri Lanka police reject US charges of torture and abuse in detention
Mon, Apr 22, 2013, 10:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka Police Sunday rejected the charges of torture and abuse of country's citizens during police custody, raised by the United States in the 2012 Human Rights Report released by the Department of State Friday.

The U.S. Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2012 for Sri Lanka said although the law makes torture a punishable offense and mandates a sentence there were credible reports that police and security forces tortured and abused citizens.

Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said the police officials of every rank undergo training to maintain human rights when carrying out their duties and the allegations of torture and abuse raised by the U. S. report were "baseless".

He said incidents where police officers were accused of torturing the arrested people have not been recorded in the past year and the reference made in the report to an incident involving a former Police Officer in Charge (OIC) happened seven years ago.

"There have not been such reports in recent times," the spokesman said.

The U.S. report cited the case of former Polpithigama Police Officer in Charge W.E. Wijeratne who was convicted by the Kurunegala High Court under the Torture Act and sentenced to two years' rigorous imprisonment in January this year.

The Police spokesman said although the sentence was given this year, the incident took place in 2003.

He said the people can report such allegations to the Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka or raise them in the court.

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