United Nations

Convention against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment

Distr.: General
29 January 2019
Original: English

Committee against Torture

Decision adopted by the Committee under article 22 of the
Convention, concerning communication No. 761/2016*, **
Communication submitted by:

S.H. (represented by counsel, John Sweeney)

Alleged victim:

The complainant

State party:


Date of complaint:

28 June 2016 (initial submission)

Date of present decision:

23 November 2018

Subject matters:

Risk of torture in the event of deportation to
country of origin (non-refoulement); prevention
of torture

Procedural issue:

Deportation of the complainant from Australia to
Sri Lanka

Substantive issue:

Admissibility – manifestly unfounded

Articles of the Convention:

3 and 22

The complainant is S.H., a national of Sri Lanka born in 1974. He is facing
deportation to Sri Lanka, following the rejection of his application for refugee status in
Australia. The complainant asserts that if Australia were to proceed with his deportation, it
would violate its obligations under article 3 of the Convention. Australia made the
declaration under article 22 of the Convention on 28 January 1993. The complainant is
represented by counsel.
The facts as presented by the complainant
The complainant was born in Manthuvil, Mullaitivu, a district controlled by the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the internal armed conflict. Before the end of the
conflict in 2009, everyone living in that area was expected to undergo training with the
Tamil Tigers and to protect the borders of the area they lived in. The complainant bribed his
way out of the obligation to protect borders, although he completed a basic self-defence
training course lasting two weeks. He also had to assist in organizing any operations of the
Tamil Tigers in the area in his capacity as a carpenter. The complainant’s brother went to
complete his border protection duty on one occasion. In 2009, his brother was summoned
for the second time and managed to escape, and since then his family has not heard from

* Adopted by the Committee at its sixty-fifth session (12 November–7 December 2018).
** The following members of the Committee participated in the consideration of the communication:
Essadia Belmir, Felice Gaer, Abdelwahab Hani, Claude Heller Rouassant, Jens Modvig, Ana Racu,
Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón, Sébastien Touzé, Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov and Honghong Zhang.



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