The Sunday Leader

Woman Unlawfully Arrested, Detained And Degraded By Police

According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) police officers at the Kochchikade Police Station arrested and detained a woman without a cause or complaint, only releasing her due to pressure from her friends. While in custody she was subjected to an unnecessary, aggressive strip search, verbally abused and threatened. Although she has made official complaints no investigations into the misconduct have been started.

On August 22 two police officers entered and searched the home of Ms Galoluge Olivia Quincy Fernando (53) without a search warrant, before taking her to the Kochchikade Police Station where she was detained. No reason was given for her arrest.

At the police station, Olivia reports being aggressively questioned over a three hour period by two police officers who threatened to beat her with a baton, and abused using obscene language. She was then taken to another room and forcibly stripped naked and further humiliated by two female officers. She was reportedly told to lift her breasts with her hands, her petticoat  was pulled off and she was threatened with a beating.

Olivia was allowed to leave at 6 p.m when friends challenged her detention, but she was told to return the following morning, which she did. After being unlawfully detained for a further two hours, pressure from Olivia’s friends again secured her release, but she was still told to return the next day. She did so, and when she asked about the charges against her, she found that there were none.

At no time was a reason given for Olivia’s arrest and questioning and at no point was she told of any complaints or charges against her, as required by the Sri Lankan Constitution and police code. Olivia also reports that no written statement was taken and that she was not asked to sign any legal document; no case was later filed by police at the Magistrate’s Court to suggest that a crime had been committed.

Olivia has complained about her treatment to the Senior Superintendent of Police, the Kochchikade Police Station and the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission.

8 Comments for “Woman Unlawfully Arrested, Detained And Degraded By Police”

  1. pinky

    oh dear, any policeman can drag any one into the police station, without a charge. This can happen only in Sri Lanka. God helps us.

  2. Truthteller

    I’m afraid it can happen anywhere in the world these days. Police, instead of playing their role as servants and protectors of the people, have become willing, oppressive tools of immoral politicians and vested interests. A Constitution, as that former Prez of the US said is ‘just a goddam piece of paper’ , so looking for protection there is pretty hopeless.

    Who must accept blame for this state of affairs? Why, you and I who voted these politicians in to power ,believing their lies, must accept responsibility.

    Instead of voting on the merits of the individual, we voted on party lines buying the promises of its leaders.

    We need prospective parliamentarians to sign a legally enforceable contract with the voter that commits them to accepting certain undertakings that would, inter alia, include upholding the constitutional guarantees against abuses of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from arbitrary arrest etc., and a commitment to ethical behaviour.

    Those parliamentarians found guilty in a court of law of deliberately breaking the contract, must be evicted from his/her parliamentary seat, and severely punished by a big fine, a jail sentence or both. Until that happens, unrestricted power will corrupt politicians and all they touch.

  3. verny

    this is the vertion of the women only which also has to be verified. don’t jump into conclutions the truth may be quite hard to swallow

  4. Santhi

    Police do this type of illegal arrests for personal gains by unscupless officers My 2 sons who were past students of Royal college from Grade 5 to A/L and secured jobs in Colombo who had nothing to do with LTEE were arrested in 1990 for no reasons by The then OIC Bambalapitiya Police detained may be expecting a bribe and later released after 2 days Police can arrest if they have a complaint or information which should be made available but to do so without reasons is questioable Later when I was in Colombo approached the OIC and asked him for a letter saying my sons were arrested and relesed He refused to issue such a statemnt of facts which is again I feel an illegal act This type of actions made us to quit Sri Lanka for good
    as we felt its a corrupt country for self respected and good citizens
    issue such a statement This proved the arrest was illegal and with ulterior motives

  5. BASH

    Is this what is called sovereignty ??? This shows that the govt in power cannot manage its own affairs justly and no wonder the UN is trying to intervene in our internal affairs. The reason so many are putting pressure on the UN to intervene looks reasonable when coming across similar incidents

  6. Oscar

    There are feminish Policemen who do these arrests and they plant punitive substance and frame false cases when they know they are falling in trouble. These guys can’t be called Policeman, they are the worst SAKKILI fellows, misusing the power and law. Action must be taken and they must be punished and kicked out of the department even without their benefits etc.


    this is only an isolated case where some officers are breaking the law. the IGP must appoing well disciplined, educated officers as OICs to the police stations then all officers ranking below will follow him. this is the only solution to this problem. our dear Defence Secretary can select those good officers to the police stations as OICs. i am 100 % sure his selections will be the best.

  8. pamela

    All are blaming police. But it is bad luck they couldn’t found “brown sugar”(quincy power) from this gangstress.

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