Corruption in Sri Lankan prisons is rampant and leads to attacks on inmates, Committee for protecting the Rights of the Prisoners (CPRP) has alleged.
Prison officials turn a blind eye and abet attacks inside the jails happen taking bribes according to CPRP.
Sudesh Nandimal secretary of the CPRP told journalists, “Even on the 9th of this month an inmate in Colombo remand prison was brutally attacked by another one in the presence of the chief jailor.”
“Ample proof is available that in the past jail officials accepted bribes and permitted attacks on the prisoners and now we doubt if the attack on the 9th is also a similar one?” Sudesh Nandimal questioned.
He also said time and again CPRP has spoken about torture in the prisons.
“How is it that Mahinda Kumara Tilakaratne a remand prisoner detained under special protection was brutally attacked by another inmate inside the jail? The prison chief along with two senior officials brought him outside his cell and at that time, the attacker was also around, and the attack happened when top officials were present”.
While detention, care, and rehabilitation are the fundamental principles of the prisons, no such things happen in the Sri Lankan jails, he further pointed out. If such protection has been given to Mahinda Kumara Tilakaratne he would not have been attacked, Sudesh Nandimal added.
“In the past contract attacks happened inside the prisons and we know it. We now suspect that the Jail chief was also part of this attack. We suspect if jail officials take bribes from underworld groups and permit such attacks inside the jail premises”.
Stressing that the protection of prisoners is of paramount importance, the officials who are to ensure their safety are being suspected of endangering their safety Sudesh Nandimal said. Calling for an impartial investigation into the recent incident of attack inside the prison, CPRP secretary added those found guilty should be punished and prisoners’ safety should be assured.