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Government got HRW report before it was released

The government says it got a copy of the controversial Human Rights Watch (HRW) report before it was released to the media this week.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that he got a copy of the report on February 22 claiming that 75 people were victims of abuse in Sri Lanka.

Rambukwella said he had asked for the names and other details of the 75 people but HRW had refused to release those details as the family members of those 75 people are still in Sri Lanka.

“These are all lies. They have compiled this report with no evidence. I say this with responsibility,” the Minister said.

Human Rights Watch said in the report titled “‘We Will Teach You a Lesson’: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces” that the Sri Lankan security forces have been using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the LTTE.

While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in May 2009, Human Rights Watch said it had found that politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police continues to the present.

The report, released this week, provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006-2012 in both official and secret detention centers throughout Sri Lanka.

In the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, men and women reported being raped on multiple days, often by several people, with the army, police, and pro-government paramilitary groups frequently participating. (Colombo Gazette)

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