Almost 200 men in Sri Lanka are accusing the government of torture and rape, as reported by the AP.
Several men within the Tamil ethnic minority group became suspects of the government and were assumed to be a part of militant group, the Tamil Tigers.
These men report that they were captured and blindfolded by government officials before being taken to a torture room where they were branded with tiger stripes, tortured, and raped.
One man says that he was held in a small room for three weeks. In that room, he was burned with cigarettes, beaten with iron rods, and raped at least a dozen times.
Meanwhile, others recount that they were sexually assaulted in multiple ways such as being forced to touch the genitals of their torturers or assaulted with sticks rapped in barbed wire.
Human rights investigator Piers Pigou shared his horror at the tales of atrocities happening in Sri Lanka.
“The levels of sexual abuse being perpetuated in Sri Lanka by authorities are the most egregious and perverted that I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Keep in mind that the civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government ended in 2009, which raises suspicions on why some of the men were taken in the first place. For instance, one victim is only 19, making his involvement in a war that ended 8 years ago suspect.
To escape, many of the victims are seeking asylum in Europe while many are resorting to suicide attempts.
But, of course, the Sri Lankan government denies these claims and any involvement with the torture.
“The army was not involved,” says Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake. “I’m sure that police also were not involved. There’s no reason for us to do that now.”
In addition, the Sri Lankan government has been trying to put on a good face for its international affairs since the end of the war. This includes outlawing anti-LGBTQ discrimination and planning to decriminalize homosexuality all together.
The UN has praised the country’s turn of policy, but perhaps that will change soon now that these accounts of torture and rape are coming out.