At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Torture “widely practiced” in Sri Lanka, the Special Rapporteur says

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, concluded his visit to Sri Lanka in October. He pointed out that torture is “widely practiced” in Sri Lanka and this practice is “prone to become routine”.

(Bangkok, 7 November 2007) Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, concluded his visit to Sri Lanka in October. In a statement issued on 29 October, he pointed out that torture is “widely practiced” in the country and this practice is “prone to become routine in context of counter-terrorism operations, in particular by the TID”1. TID is the Terrorist Intelligence Division of the Lankan government.

In his visit from 1 to 8 October in Sri Lanka, he met government officials and members of civil society organisations. Although the country “already has many of the elements in place necessary to both prevent torture and combat impunity,” he noted, “an independent and effective preventive mechanism” is missing in the country. This is “the most effective way” to prevent torture and he said existing mechanisms like National Human Rights Commission is not fulfilling the role.

Since the government insisted that “the armed forces no longer kept detainees within their facilities”, Nowak was not able to see the practice of torture and ill-treatment in the context of conflict.

On conditions of detention, while the total capacity of people in prisons amounts to 8,200, Sri Lanka has 28,000 prisoners. “The prison system as a whole is in need of structural reform”, he said.

He also saw police stations where the detainees were locked up in basic cells, sleeping on concrete floor and often without natural light or sufficient ventilation. “These conditions become inhuman for suspects held in these cells under detentions orders pursuant to the Emergency Regulations for periods of several months up to one year,” he added.

Nowak was appointed to the mandate in 2004 to examine questions on torture. He also presented the situation of Sri Lanka at the Third Committee during 62nd session of the General Assembly2.


1 Special Rapporteur on Torture Concludes Visit to Sri Lanka

2 Statement by Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on Torture, 62nd session of the General Assembly, Third Committee