Feb 26, Colombo: Sri Lankan security forces are accused of continuing to use rape and sexual assault nearly four years after the end of the war to torture Tamil detainees suspected of having links with the vanquished terrorist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an international rights watchdog said in a report released Tuesday.
In a 141-page report titled " 'We Will Teach You a Lesson': Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces,' the New york-based Human Rights Watch details the personal accounts of 75 alleged cases of rapes and assaults occurred since 2006.
The report says the politically motivated violence occurred in both official and secret detention centers throughout country with the participation of police, army and paramilitary groups.
According to the HRW report, the military, military intelligence and the police, including specialized units such as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) took part in the alleged crimes.
"The Sri Lankan security forces have committed untold numbers of rapes of Tamil men and women in custody," Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said in a release.
"These are not just wartime atrocities but continue to the present, putting every Tamil man and woman arrested for suspected LTTE involvement at serious risk," he adds.
The right group said most of the victims spoke to the group and corroborated the evidence gathered by the NGO.
The Asia director accused the government of hindering medical and psychological treatment for rape victims
"In the largely Tamil areas in the north, the army has effectively prohibited local and international organizations from providing services for sexual violence survivors," Adams said.
The Human Rights Watch says no member of the security forces has been prosecuted, let alone convicted, for rape in custody in the final years of the conflict or since the war's end in May 2009.
Pointing out that acts of rape and other sexual violence committed as part of armed conflict are war crimes, the HRW said the Sri Lankan government has an obligation not only to prevent such violations, but also to investigate credible allegations of abuse and prosecute those responsible.
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