The phantom limb : failing judicial systems, torture and human rights work in Sri Lanka : a study of police torture in Sri Lanka
Failing judicial systems, torture and human rights work in Sri Lanka
Andersen, Morten Koch; Fernando, Basil
Much human rights reporting that focus on crisis and immediate risks, dangers and sufferings tend to overlook historic processes and social ordering systems - such as caste - in their (often case based) illustrative descriptions of repressive practices, misuse and mismanagement of authority and the inadequacy of the justice system to protect the citizens. However, it is the proposition of the study that to investigate torture practices and the apparent inability to change the current state of affairs one has to explore the logics based in deep rooted social systems and attitudes. This insight offers an explanation for the socioeconomic bias in the enactment of torture and the reluctance and resistance to change in the criminal justice and political system. In this regard, caste as an ever present social ordering system in South Asia and Sri Lanka appears to be a viable and fundamental issue to include in the analysis to understand current human rights abuses. The argument is that a 'debris' of the caste system somehow orders social perceptions, relations and actions in the unfolding of the criminal justice system, especially in the images of the mariginalized laboring poor. To do this, we will look into the interconnectedness of the early judicial system and administration and the caste system.
Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims ; Asian Human Rights Commission
Sri Lanka; Police brutality; Torture; Human rights; Criminal justice, Administration of; Politics and government
Previously Published As
Andersen, Morten Koch. The phantom limb : failing judicial systems, torture and human rights work in Sri Lanka : a study of police torture in Sri Lanka. Copenhagen : Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims ; Hong Kong : Asian Human Rights Commission,