|Friday, 5 September 2003|
Death of suspects in custody : Officers-in-Charge to be held responsible
by Sarath Malalasekera
Inspector General of Police T.E. Anandarajah yesterday issued a warning to all Officers-in-Charge of Police stations that they would be held responsible if any suspect dies while in Police custody.
Staff DIG Keerthi Gajanayake said the IGP issued the warning in a circular dispatched to all police stations yesterday morning.
If any suspect dies in police custody, the Senior SP, SP or ASP of the area should also share responsibility for the incident.
The IGP issued the circular following complaints by the public that deaths in Police cells had increased in recent times.
Meanwhile the Human Rights Commission met with T.E. Anandarajah, IGP, and his delegation yesterday to discuss recent events regarding torture and deaths in police custody. The following measures were agreed to as a means of combating torture in custody.
The Human Rights Commission will work with the Police Commission to formulate guidelines on the interdiction of police officers who are named in successful fundamental rights applications before the Supreme Court.
The IGP to give clear directives to the OICs of Police Stations; OICs and higher officers will have command responsibility for torture in police stations. OICs to allow family, friends and lawyers of the suspects to see the suspect after arrest and while in detention.
The IGP to provide the Human Rights Commission, within a month, of a copy of a comprehensive training programme for police officers at all levels that includes a human rights component and training in new investigative methods in combating crime.
The Human Rights Commission and the IGP to work together to raise funding for DNA testing procedures for the Government Analyst and The Police Academy.
Posters in all three national languages on the rights of suspects, produced by the Human Rights Commission, to be displayed prominently in all police stations. The IGP would give a directive to the effect.
Produced by Lake House