In a press release issued today, the Right to Life Human Rights Center of Sri Lanka (R2L) has demanded justice for the untimely death of 25-year-old Nagarasa Alex, who reportedly succumbed to injuries inflicted during his custody by the Sri Lankan police. This tragic incident has ignited a fervent call for comprehensive police reform and the immediate implementation of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to empower magistrates in overseeing the conditions within police stations and prisons.
Nagarasa Alex, a resident of Sithankerni, Jaffna, was arrested on November 8, 2023, by the Vaddukkottai police on charges related to a robbery. While under police custody, he allegedly suffered severe injuries, including multiple abrasions and contusions, as a result of torture. Shockingly, despite his deteriorating health, he remained detained until November 19, 2023, when he tragically passed away before receiving medical attention at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.
The R2L strongly condemns the use of torture and ill-treatment by police officers, denouncing such actions as clear violations of international human rights law and the fundamental principles of justice guaranteed by the Constitution. The organization is calling for a swift, impartial, and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Nagarasa Alex’s death, urging authorities to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Highlighting the urgency of police reform, the R2L emphasizes the significance of amending the Criminal Procedure Code to grant magistrates the authority to visit police stations and prisons. This proposed amendment aims to allow magistrates to directly observe the conditions of detainees, ensuring they are not subjected to torture or ill-treatment. Such visits, the organization argues, would act as a deterrent against abuse, fostering transparency and accountability within law enforcement and other authorities.
Expressing solidarity with Nagarasa Alex’s grieving family and friends, the R2L demands justice for his untimely death. The organization pledges to persist in advocating for comprehensive police reform and the protection of human rights in Sri Lanka, underscoring the need for immediate action to prevent similar tragedies in the future.