Manufacturing Impunity at Sri Lanka’s Joseph Camp

Manufacturing Impunity at Sri Lanka’s Joseph Camp
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The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) officially launches a new report tomorrow. This time, the Johannesburg-based organization takes a close look at events which have transpired at Joseph Camp, a Sri Lankan military camp located in Vavuniya district. The report documents detention, interrogation, torture and more. ITJP has also included a host of recommendations – both for UN Human Rights Council member states and the government of Sri Lanka.

In terms of the production of the report, “[t]he witnesses chosen were held in Joseph Camp during the final phase of the war or since 2009 and up until the end of 2016.” The document is based on testimonies from forty-six people.

This is another detailed contribution from ITJP. There are tons of quotes from victims and the names of five Joseph Camp military commanders have been cited. There are even diagrams of interrogation rooms.

In the forward of the report, ITJP’s Executive Director, Yasmin Sooka, notes that “[i]t is hard for a report like this to do justice to the cruelty routinely perpetrated inside Joseph Camp. Survivors, even abroad, are still struggling to regain their lives, wracked by physical pain and psychological trauma, plunged into poverty, lonely and often suicidal in exile. We thank them for their extraordinary courage in recounting some of their darkest days; they did so in the hope that speaking out will prevent others suffering in the same way in the future.”

ITJP will also conduct a side event at the Council tomorrow. (The Geneva-based body’s 34th session is currently underway and will run through March 24.)

Sri Lanka is on the Council’s formal agenda and a country-specific resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be passed towards the end of this session.

This case study is bound to receive plenty of attention between now and then.

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