Male Prisoner needing urgent medical treatment for heart ailment severely tortured by Police

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Sri Rangaraja Sudan was arrested by Norwood Police on suspicion of illegal possession of cocaine and charged under the Poison, Opium, and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance on 16 July 2016. He is currently in Bogambara remand prison suffering from severe heart disease as a result of a hole in the heart. According to the medical reports, his condition is becoming more severe day-by-day. Because of his heart condition he requires immediate surgery to avoid heart failure.

To add to the situation since 2017, according to medical reports, the doctor recommended several tests to be done before his surgery. He has had no opportunity to get the tests or treatment done, because the prison officers have not brought him for treatment. As a result, his health condition is rated as severe. On the other hand, according to medical reports, there are no specialists or sufficient facilities in the prison hospital for any surgery. Conditions in the prison have increased his mental stress. His diabetes causes day-to-day risk to his life. Therefore, immediate surgery is required to save his life.

The 2nd and 3rd defendants in this case have obtained bail (respectively within 3 months and 9 months). However, Sudan has been imprisoned for more than three years since 16 July 2016. He continues to suffer with a severe heart condition without proper medical treatment. The main suspect in this case has left the country with no steps taken by the Police to arrest him. Human Rights Office Kandy made bail application on behalf of Sudan based on the above circumstances. But, bail application still remains in process in the Courts without due consideration of Sudan’s dangerous and risky health condition to date.

On 17 May 2019, one of the lawyers of the Human Rights Office Kandy visited the Bogambara Prison at 1:30 pm to observe first hand Sudan’s health condition. However, the Prison Officers delayed the Lawyer from entering the prison or talking with Sudan until 2.30 pm. Even though, the Lawyer started to talk with Sudan in Tamil, the Prison Officers had seemingly not given permission by saying; there is no translator to translate the conversation.

Then, the Lawyer spoke with Sudan in Sinhala and asked “Do you have any issues in this prison?” Sudan stated that he was severely assaulted by the prison officers that morning. When the Lawyer asked the reasons for the assault, Sudan stated that “one of the prisoners who brought tobacco into the prison accused him that the tobacco was brought in with instructions from Sudan”. As result of this, Sudan was severely tortured by the Prison Officers. According to the Lawyer, as the result of such severe torture, Sudan cannot sit on a chair and suffers from severe back pain with wounds and bruises over his entire body. The Lawyer then asked him whether he was brought to the hospital by the Prison Officers to get treatment for his wounds. He said “no”. Further, according to Sudan, after this incident he was not given any prison food and continuously feels hungry.

On 19 May 2019, Sudan was brought to the Kandy Magistrate Court but not given bail and the case postponed to 24 June 2019.

Sudan was presented to the Judicial Medical officer on 22 May 2019.

The AHRC is certain that Sudan was severely tortured, deprived of justice and needs urgent intervention. The AHRC demands immediate medical treatment for Sudan. Bail must be provided so he can get better and immediate treatment in order for him to survive.

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