Assault on FSP members: Complaint to HRCSL

By Skandha Gunasekara

The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) is to lodge a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against police brutality following Tuesday’s (9) protest incident.

FSP Educational Secretary Pubudu Jagoda told The Morning that the Police had assaulted their party members during “unlawful” arrests.

“We were protesting police brutality and we were assaulted by the Police without restraint. We will be lodging a complaint at the Human Rights Commission in this regard,” he said.

He said that fundamental rights (FR) cases would also be filed for unlawful arrests as arrests had been made at Lipton Circus, an area where the court hadn’t covered.

“We did not violate the court order as we didn’t protest in front of the US Embassy as the court had prohibited. Our people were near the Colpetty market. In addition, the arrests were made before the protest even started. The arrests at Lipton Circus were also illegal as the court order mentioned only the US Embassy,” he said, asserting that their rights were thus infringed upon.

He went on to say that the Police were using the violation of health guidelines as an excuse for the arrests.

“Our protest was organised in accordance with the health services guidelines. We stood a metre apart and had masks and gloves on. It was the Police who violated the guidelines by not wearing facemasks or gloves and packing us all into one vehicle after the arrests,” he charged.

He said the court had acknowledged the unfair treatment when giving bail to those arrested, which included Party Leader Kumar Gunaratnam.

“All of our 53 members received bail and the court accepted that the arrests were unlawful and that violence was used,” Jagoda said.