Tamils deported from UK to Sri Lanka recount harrowing tales of 'torture'


Colombo, June 6 (ANI): Tamils forcibly deported by the Britain Government to Sri Lanka are being severely tortured, said a victim, who was left scared after a brutal two-week ordeal. According to The Guardian, the victim, Hari, said that he was tortured for 17 days after being deported from Britain last year. His torturers accused him of telling British officials about previous beatings by state officials, which would ruin diplomatic relations between the two countries. In an in-depth interview, the former member of the rebel Tamil Tigers' intelligence service said he was tortured after the Home Office deported him and two-dozen other asylum seekers in June 2011. Hari managed to bribe his jailers and escaped back to the UK via Russia and is now filing a second claim for asylum. The revelations come as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to have lunch with the Queen and other heads of Commonwealth states as part of jubilee celebrations on Wednesday. The UK Government is under increasing pressure to change its policy, which suggests that it is safe to return Tamils to Sri Lanka. The high court had halted the deportation of 40 people citing human rights concerns. Last week, the UK Government forcibly deported several other Sri Lankans, ignoring pleas from human rights organisations to halt flights in the face of mounting evidence that UK and European returnees have been tortured. The Home Office has insisted that it is safe to return Tamils to Sri Lanka after the end of a long civil war and quoted a European court ruling that "not all Tamil asylum seekers require protection". A spokesman for the British Tamils Forum said: "Sri Lanka's human rights record is appalling. People fear for their lives when deported back to Sri Lanka. If the British government can't guarantee the deportees' safety after deportation, all removals of failed asylum seekers must stop immediately." (ANI)