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Officials who knew or should have known of such abuses and failed to take action are criminally liable as a matter of command responsibility.In February, the United Nations Human Rights Council will be examining whether the Sri Lankan government adequately followed up on it commitments in a March 2012 resolution to provide justice and accountability for wartime abuses.Many of the cases followed a pattern of an individual being abducted from home by unidentified men, taken to a detention center, and abusively interrogated about alleged LTTE activities, Human Rights Watch said.A 23-year-old man who had recently returned from abroad said he was abducted, held without charge, and then raped on three consecutive days until he signed a confession.I can’t remember how many times.” Rape and other sexual violence of detained men and women by the security forces during and ever since the armed conflict suggests that sexual abuse has been a key element of the broader use of torture and ill-treatment against suspected LTTE members and supporters, Human Rights Watch said.This torture is intended to obtain “confessions” of involvement in LTTE activities, information on others including spouses and relatives, and, it appears, to instill terror in the broader Tamil population to discourage involvement with the LTTE.
None of those who spoke to Human Rights Watch had access to legal counsel, family members, or doctors while they were detained.
The reluctance to report sexual abuse also stems from institutional barriers imposed by the Sri Lankan government to block effective reporting and investigation of rape cases.
“The government has hindered medical and psychological treatment for rape victims,” Adams said.
“In the largely Tamil areas in the north, the army has effectively prohibited local and international organizations from providing services for sexual violence survivors.” No member of the security forces has been prosecuted, let alone convicted, for rape in custody in the final years of the conflict or since the war’s end, Human Rights Watch said.
Interviewees told Human Rights Watch that military and police personnel seldom made any effort to disguise being members of state security forces.