As we come up to UN #victimsoftorture day (26 June) let's recall the #srilanka security forces' 'White Vans' (synonymous with abduction & #torture - & sometimes disappearance) date back to the JVP era. They don't really stop & start, depending on the government in power - alas.
In 1989 an .@amnesty report said "in a typical case, plainclothes armed men arrived at the victims' home at night, travelling in Pajero keeps or Hiace vans...usually they gave no explanation for taking away the victim..."…
@amnesty President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in 2019: "May be our intelligence agencies used Hi Ace vans which are white. I did not introduce it. It happened under all the previous Governments".

@amnesty In 2012 the President (then defence secy) reportedly said it was 'only criminals' that were 'white vanned'.…

In 2016 Gotabaya Rajapaksa also spoke of #whitevans at a Viyathmaga meeting (translation): “white vans were there all the time. Not only white, there were black vans, green vans… in 86, 87 there were Morris Minors as well, which lifted people."
@amnesty “I served in the military for 20 years. Most of those 20 years I served under the UNP gov. Those who lived during that period know how those ‘gonibillo’ (masked abducters)…In what vehicles did the ‘gonibillo’ travel? In white vehicles or black vehicles".
@amnesty This is the 2015 OISL report (.@UNHumanRights) on #lka with a section entitled 'Modus operandi of the security forces: the “white van” arrests'.
@amnesty @UNHumanRights Then in 2016 the UN Committee Against Torture said there were credible reports of #whitevan abductions post war in #srilanka.
@amnesty @UNHumanRights In 2017 OHCHR (via .@reuters) said it received credible information from a well-known human rights organization according to which ‘#whitevan’ abductions, and torture and sexual violence, by the #SriLankan security forces persisted".…
@amnesty @UNHumanRights @Reuters IN 2018 .@UNHumanRights @mbachelet report to @UN_HRC said: "The High Commissioner was deeply concerned over serious allegations in foreign media about ongoing ABDUCTIONS, extreme torture and sexual violence, as recently as in 2016 and 2017."… §44
@amnesty @UNHumanRights @Reuters @mbachelet @UN_HRC In 2019, OHCHR had investigated further & reported on reasonable grounds to think abduction by #lka security forces was still going on under the so called 'good governance' government: §56…
@amnesty @UNHumanRights @Reuters @mbachelet @UN_HRC In 2021 .@mbachelet said "credible allegations through well-known human rights organizations of abductions, torture & sexual violence by #SriLankan security forces since the adoption of resolution 30/1, including in the past year". {link at bottom of…}
@amnesty @UNHumanRights @Reuters @mbachelet @UN_HRC & not just UN but from the mouths of the #whitevan operators themselves via .@itjpsl…
@amnesty @UNHumanRights @Reuters @mbachelet @UN_HRC @itjpsl This #whitevan abduction of a #tamil was one of many that occured in 2015, via @itjpsl {Page 36}…
@amnesty @UNHumanRights @Reuters @mbachelet @UN_HRC @itjpsl @FreefromTorture @SonyaSceats @guardian Last but not least the victims:

"a white van came and I was pushed into the van – in the space in the middle of the seats – so that I was lying face down in the van".
Correction - not abductors but masked informers

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More from @francesharris0n

18 Jun
New UK immigration report says #srilanka continues to operate an extensive intelligence gathering operation in the UK, monitoring protests, surveilling and unencrypted social media. #lka
Also for all those who said branding wasn't a thing & alleged the poor old victims actually paid someone to burn them - the UK Home Office now says "injuries which are self-inflicted by proxy are likely to be extremely rare".
And according to Robert Knox the burning with hot irons goes back to 1641:
Read 7 tweets
2 Jun
Landmark UK immigration case slams lead agency in Reparation process in #srilanka @IOMSriLanka 4 lack of impartiality. IOM reportedly said allegations of discrimination against #tamils were just 'put forward to serve their own ends' Even Home Office called this "quite stark"! https://www.doughtystreet.c...https://www.doughtystreet.c...
@IOMSriLanka This is what the excellent ICJ 2010 Beyond Constraints report on 'rehabilitation' had to say regarding the risks of .@IOMSriLanka being involved in profiling inmates - noting thousands were arbitrarily detained in these military run camps. Image
@IOMSriLanka A/HRC/39/45/Add.2
Rehabilitation - The UN working group on arbitrary detention in 2018 called for apology and compensation. It never happened. Image
Read 10 tweets

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