New Forensic Evidence Reveals Signs of Torture in Chandran Vithusan Case
Sri Lanka and Human Rights Researcher
Global Rights Defence
On the 3rd of June 2021, Chandran Vithusan, a young Tamil man, died in overnight police custody in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka (JDS, 2021). According to the victims family and neighbours, Vithusan had previously been tied to a tree where he was violently assaulted in front of his family members by police officials who identified themselves as ‘intelligence officials’ (JDS 2021; Tamil Guardian, 2021a). Afterwards, Vithusan was taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where he died the following morning due to an illness according to police officials (Tamil Guardian, 2021a). The initial investigation into Vithusan’s death and subsequent autopsy by a Special Judicial Medical Officer (JMO), concluded the death to be a result of a drug overdose (Tamil Guardian, 2021b). The family of the victim however insisted that Chandran Vithusan’s death was caused by police brutality and demanded a second autopsy (Tamil Guardian, 2021b). The results of this second autopsy have reportedly exposed signs of torture on the victims body, according to the familys’ lawyers on 14 November 2021 (Tamil Guardian, 2021b).
Sources and further reading:
Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) (2021, June 03). Tamil youth dies in overnight Police custody in Eastern Sri Lanka. JDS. http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/human-rights/1023-tamil-youth-dies-in-overnight-police-custody-in-eastern-sri-lanka
Tamil Guardian (2021a, June 03). Tamil youth beaten to death by Sri Lankan Intelligence officials. Tamil Guardian. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/tamil-youth-beaten-death-sri-lankan-intelligence-officials
Tamil Guardian (2021b, November 14). Forensic evidence of torture found on murdered Tamil youth. Tamil Guardian. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/forensic-evidence-torture-found-murdered-tamil-youth