CAT/C/65/D/761/2016

him or known his whereabouts. Later in 2009, the complainant and his family were moved
to the Chettikulam camp in an area controlled by the army. There, on several occasions, the
complainant was interrogated by the Sri Lanka Army and the Criminal Investigation
Department, mostly about his brother’s whereabouts. In July 2010, his father-in-law
arranged the complainant’s release from the camp by paying a bribe. In November 2010,
the complainant’s father-in-law was found dead in his house, allegedly having committed
suicide. Initially, the police informed the family that he had died as a result of foul play.
However, when the complainant’s sister-in-law went to identify and collect the body, she
was forced by the Sri Lanka Army to sign a form to say that he had died as a result of
suicide. The complainant believes that his father-in-law was murdered by the Sri Lanka
Army or the Criminal Investigation Department, in retaliation for helping him to escape.
The complainant’s wife, two daughters and her two sisters with their children currently live
in the family house in Manthuvil, having being released from the Chettikulam camp in
2012. The complainant claims that the authorities periodically visit his family inquiring
about his whereabouts, the last visit being in March 2016.
2.2
On 7 July 2010, the complainant left Sri Lanka by plane on a false passport, first
travelling to Malaysia and then to Indonesia. On 7 November 2010, he arrived on
Christmas Island without a valid visa. On 22 January 2011, he lodged an application for a
protection visa, which was refused on 21 April 2011. That decision was reviewed by an
independent merits reviewer on 2 February 2012, who upheld the original refusal. The
complainant sought a review of that decision at the Federal Circuit Court on 6 March 2012,
but that application was dismissed on 23 October 2012. On 16 November 2012, a request
was made to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, who declined to exercise his
power to grant a protection visa. On 12 March 2015, an International Treaties Obligations
Assessment found that the complainant was not owed protection by Australia. He then
applied for judicial review of that decision and his application was dismissed extempore on
5 June 2015. An appeal made to the Federal Court of Australia was rejected on 13 May
2016. The complainant therefore claims that he has exhausted all domestic remedies.
The complaint
3.1
The complainant claims that his deportation to Sri Lanka would constitute a
violation of his rights under article 3 of the Convention. He claims that there are substantial
grounds for believing that he would suffer torture at the hands of the Sri Lanka Army or the
Criminal Investigation Department because he has suspected connections with the Tamil
Tigers, he escaped the Chettikulam camp in Sri Lanka, and he is a witness to a possible
crime committed by either the Sri Lanka Army or the Criminal Investigation Department
(the alleged killing of his father-in-law). He argues that the poor legal processes in Sri
Lanka, especially in the context of what many Tamils who were caught between the Tamil
Tigers and the Sri Lanka Army suffered in the closing stages of the conflict, provide a
serious context for his claims. He refers to a number of reports, showing, according to him,
that there is sufficient evidence of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations
of human rights in Sri Lanka, and that his profile coincides with a number of characteristics
of those who have been targeted by the Sri Lanka Army or the Criminal Investigation
Department.1
3.2
The complainant further claims that, if he is forcibly returned to Sri Lanka, he will
be detained and held at Negombo Remand Prison for further interrogation as an asylum
seeker who left the country illegally and returned without a passport. According to the
complainant, it is well documented that the prison is cramped, unsanitary and unhygienic,
and that there is little chance to exercise, and that it is overcrowded to the point that
prisoners have to take turns to sleep, which in itself constitutes degrading treatment or
punishment regardless of the length of time spent there on remand.

1

2

See, for example, International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka, “Silenced: survivors of torture
and sexual violence in 2015” (January 2016); Freedom from Torture, “Tainted peace: torture in Sri
Lanka since May 2009” (August 2015); Edmund Rice Centre, “Australia sponsored torture in Sri
Lanka? The foreseen consequences of supporting a brutal regime to stop the boats at any cost”
(August 2015).

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