The horrifying testimony of Hari, a Tamil man tortured by Sri Lankan officials after the UK sent him back to his country, is one more shameful example of how this country currently treats people who seek safety here. Given the distressing description of Hari’s 17-day torture ordeal and the methods used, who can blame him for holding the UK government responsible for the scars on his back?
Evidence that shows it is unsafe to return people to Sri Lanka grows by the day. Just last week, the UK’s high court stopped the removal of 40 refused asylum seekers to Sri Lanka on the grounds that their human rights would be violated. Human Rights Watch have this year alone reported 13 cases of refused asylum seekers who have been tortured on return to the country, and have called for the UK to halt all returns. The charity Freedom From Torture has consistently raised this as a serious issue, with a “steady stream” of clients who have been recently tortured, including individuals who were forcibly removed to Sri Lanka from the UK.