Written by Lahiru Fernando
14 Oct, 2015 | 10:16 pm
Six (06) detainees who are in custody for suspected links with the LTTE and were staging hunger strike, were admitted to hospital on Wednesday, October 14.
Commissioner General of Prisons Rohana Pushpakumara said that the hunger strike launched by the detainees is continuing. The group of detainees at the the Colombo New Magazine Prison, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa and Jaffna prisons who were arrested for having suspected links with the LTTE, commenced the hunger strike the on Monday. The detainees are demanding their release.
Commissioner General of Prisons, Rohana Pushpakumara speaking on the issue said that doctors look into their health condition thrice a day. He added:
I reported this matter to the President’s Office, as well as to our ministry, on a regular basis.
A group including relatives of the detainees staged a demonstration opposite the Fort Railway Station demanding that their loved ones to be released without conditions.
As the group marched to the President’s Office to hand over a petition signed by the relatives, the police intervened as a measure to prevent them from doing, so but the group was able to hand over their letter to an official of the President’s Office.
Twenty three suspects who have been under remand custody for 18 months for allegedly having links with the LTTE were produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Attygalle on Wednesday.
During the hearing, officers of the Terrorist Investigation Division noted that more investigation needs to be done on the matter. They added that they will hand over the details of the investigation to the Attorney General, seeking advice.
The magistrate stated that she intends to notify and remind the Attorney General on the matter. The suspects were further remanded until October 28.
The Minister of Justice Wijeydasa Rajapakshe, speaking on the detainees in question, stated that these prisoners cannot be branded as political prisoners.
Minister Rajapakshe went on to note that there are no such detainees held at prisons adding that it is for the government to decide on whether or not the detainees, who are currently staging a hunger strike, should be released.
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