Lankan refugees face ‘torture threats’ if UK evicts asylum seekers

Asylum seekers describe several torture methods,including beatings with cement-filled plastic bars.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: September 14, 2012 3:04:26 pm

The British government is reportedly planning to forcibly remove hundreds of Sri Lankan asylum seekers from the country,despite mounting evidence that many are interrogated and tortured for information upon their return.

The UK Border and Immigration Agency (UKBA) has commissioned as many as three separate charter flights to remove more than 300 people next week.

It is the first time the UK Government has pushed ahead with a mass removal to Sri Lanka since June,when more than 50 predominantly Tamil evictees were taken off the plane at the last minute after a senior judge accepted there was credible evidence they could be tortured on their return,The Independent reports.

Over the past year there have been multiple examples of Sri Lankans who have been removed to Colombo,only to escape once again to Britain and have their asylum request accepted because compelling evidence of their torture has emerged.

Although some of those on the flight will be visa overstayers and convicted criminals,many are also failed asylum seekers from the country’s Tamil minority who fear repercussions of returning to a nation with a dismal human rights record,the paper said.

In many of the cases the same torture methods were described,including beatings with cement-filled plastic piping,bars and wooden sticks as well as burnings with cigarettes and hot metal rods. Sexual assault and rape was also common,it added.

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