Torture in Sri Lanka – ‘Many times I would lose consciousness’

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Thevan (not his real name) has flashbacks of the impossible days he spent being tortured in a police cell in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.

These flashbacks force him to relive a story so harrowing that even he sometimes struggles to believe it happened to him.

“I was blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back. Sometimes our heads were banged against the wall or we would be kicked on our chests. Many times I was half conscious or would lose consciousness. When I would come back I would find people hitting me. They used to say: ‘You must accept that you are part of the Tamil Tigers and you must sign these papers’”.

In late 2008, Thevan worked in a shop near Vavuniya.

On 29 November that year, he travelled to Colombo with a friend amid the country’s escalating civil war, and both were abducted by men driving a white van.

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