Female inmates in Welikada protest against prison reforms

Female inmates in Welikada protest against prison reforms

Female inmates in Welikada protest against prison reforms

Written by Staff Writer

13 Aug, 2018 | 8:23 pm

Colombo (News1st) – The protest launched by a group of female inmates atop the roof of the Welikada Prison is still continuing. W.H.M.I. Adhikari, the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms says the responsibility of bringing the situation under control lies with the Commissioner General of Prisons.

At around 8 AM a group of female inmates climbed onto the roof of the building they are being held in and commenced their demonstration. Our reporter at the scene noted that around 15 inmates are taking part in the protest.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for the Protection of Prisoners Rights commenced a demonstration in front of the Welikada Prison this afternoon, in solidarity with the protesting ‌female inmates.

Sudesh Nandimal de Silva, the Secretary of the Organisation for the Protection of Prisoners Rights accused that an official in charge of the Vavuniya prison who has been accused of torture is currently serving as the superintendent of the Welikada prison and that the same individual is preparing to torture women inmates as well.

Thushara Upuldeniya, the Media Spokesperson for the Department of Prisons, claimed that he could not speak on this issue without authorization from the Ministry. The Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms said several prison officials had been transferred in order to combat abuses which occur in prisons. She claimed that the prisoners were protesting against these transfers.

Speaking to the media following an event in Ratnapura today, Minister of Justice & Prison Reforms Thalatha Athukorala stated that she has issued instructions to the Commissioner of the Welikada prison. She noted that unlike during the previous administration where prisoners were shot, this administration would approach this issue with a great deal of patience and thought.

When questioned about the ban imposed on the prisons media spokesperson on issuing statements, the Minister clarified that she had requested all officials to obtain written permissions from the Minister of the Ministry secretary before speaking to the media. She noted that the prison is not a place that can be reformed by continuously speaking to the media

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