'Lanka keeping 11,000 Tamil detainees in legal limbo'



Washington: Asking Sri Lanka to end the indefinite detention of 11,000 people for suspected links with the Tamil Tigers, a global human rights body today said the lack of transparency on the issue raises concerns about possible torture of those in custody.

"The government has been keeping 11,000 people in a legal limbo for months," said Brad Adams, Asia Director of the US-based Human Rights Watch.

"It's time to identify who presents a genuine security threat and to release the rest," Adams said after the release of a 30-page report 'Legal Limbo: The Uncertain Fate of Detained LTTE Suspects in Sri Lanka.'

The report is based on interviews with the detainees' relatives, humanitarian workers and human rights advocates, among others.

Human Rights Watch claimed that the Sri Lankan government has routinely violated the fundamental rights of the detainees.

The government contends that the 11,000 detainees are former fighters or supporters of the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The lack of transparency in the process and of information about the fate and whereabouts of some of the detainees raises concerns about possible torture or mistreatment in custody, and the possibility that some may have been forcibly disappeared, the rights body said.

PTI