Target: Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka
Goal: Stop Sri Lankan security forces from using rape and sexual violence to torture supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Politically-motivated sexual violence against Tamil men and women has been widely accepted in Sri Lankan for far too long. The recently released 141-page report entitled, “We Will Teach You a Lesson: Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces” details horrific personal accounts of rape and abuse from 2006 to 2012. Although there are 75 cases of official and secret detention center detainees documented in the report, countless other victims have continued to suffer.
The Human Rights Watch reported many cases of men and women being raped by several members of the army, police, and military groups on multiple days. “The Sri Lankan security forces have committed untold numbers of rapes of Tamil men and women in custody,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “These are not just wartime atrocities but continue to the present, putting every Tamil man and woman arrested for suspected LTTE involvement at serious risk.”
Many victims were abducted from their homes and taken to one of the detention centers before being raped until they signed confessions. Victims also describe being beaten, burned, asphyxiated, and photographed naked. Despite these repeated reports of abuse, no members of the security force have yet been prosecuted or punished. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan army has hindered rape victims from getting medical and psychological treatment.
These acts of sexual violence during armed conflict are considered war crimes. The Sri Lankan government is obligated to prosecute security forces for their disgusting behavior and prevent similar incidents from ever happening again. Sign the below petition to urge Sri Lanka’s government to investigate despicable human rights abuses against detained Tamils and punish government leaders for sexual abuse.
Dear President Rajapaksa,
I am urging you to conduct urgent investigations into the treatment of Tamils in your country’s detention centers. Victims of rape and sexual abuse have remained quiet out of fear for far too long. Even in times of war, human rights abuses are unacceptable and you cannot turn a blind eye towards them.
Sufficient evidence has surfaced about the specific detention centers allowing abuse and individuals participating in these despicable acts. You must prosecute and punish these members of the army, police, and government to the fullest extent of the law and ensure that no more acts of sexual violence take place. Please set your cultural and religious differences aside for a moment and consider what you are allowing to happen to your fellow man.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barnellbe via Wikimedia