CAT/C/60/D/716/2015 Advance unedited version
The complainant is Mr S.T., a Sri Lankan national born on 13 March 1994. He is awaiting
forced removal to Sri Lanka. He claims that his removal to Sri Lanka by the State party
would constitute a violation of his rights under articles 1 and 3 of the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the
Convention). He is represented by counsel. Australia made the declaration under article 22
of the Convention on 28 January 1993.
On 23 November 2015, pursuant to rule 114, paragraph 1, of its rules of procedure, the
Committee, acting through its Rapporteur on new complaints and interim measures,
requested the State party not to expel the complainant while his case was being considered
by the Committee. On 10 May 2016, the State party informed the Committee that the
complainant remained in its territory in accordance with the Committee’s request.
The complainant was born in Miravodai, Valaichenai, Batticaloa District, in the Eastern
Province of Sri Lanka, and professes Hindu faith. He lived with his parents, two sisters and
one brother. He completed 10 years of education in school and worked in construction as a
carpenter since December 2010 until he left Sri Lanka. Following the tsunami in Sri Lanka
in 2005 the complainant and his family moved to a house in Miravodai, which is a
predominantly Muslim village. His father was the head of one or two Hindu temples in
Miravodai. Muslim and Hindu communities in the village have had clashes concerning land
disputes during decades, in which his father was involved as community leader.
Due to his father’s role within the Hindu community, the complainant was assaulted on
multiple occasions by members of the Muslim community. In March 2011, six persons
came to the family house and threatened the family with taking their property. The
complainant was dragged out from the house, tied up, beaten and left on the side of the
road. They could not see the face of the aggressors but the complainant and his relatives
knew they were Muslims because of their accent. Many Tamils’ houses were looted and
burnt. In August 2011, on his way from work to home, six Muslim persons assaulted the
complainant again and left him unconscious. He got a split lip and injuries in his left arm
and neck. He claims that he was found by some farmers on the following day; and that he
did not go to the hospital as it was far away and he was scared to explain what happened.
Nor did he report the aggression to the police because he feared his aggressors’ reaction. In
April 2012, persons who identified themselves as members of the Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) visited the family house, asked them to leave the land, and threatened to
kill them. The complainant submits that that these persons were Muslims; that he filed an
application to the police about the repeated assaults; and that the police failed to investigate
his allegations and to detain the aggressors. He also made a complaint to the “Grama
Sevaka”, a public servant, without any result. In this connection, he claims that in general
Muslims are better treated by the authorities than Tamils; and that the Muslim community
has close links with members of the CID in Valachchenai. Since he feared to be tortured or
killed, he decided to flee to Australia.