The Australia Federal Police (AFP) has been accused of providing equipment and assistance to Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which has been accused of kidnapping and torture, an Australian media report said today.
Australia’s ABC News in a report said the AFP, which was central to Canberra’s attempts to deal with the influx of asylum seekers fleeing the civil war in Sri Lanka, has struck a deal with Sri Lankan police in mid-2009 to provide equipment and training to help Sri Lanka disrupt people-smuggling networks.
According to the Documents released to the news service under a Freedom of Information request, detail the support that was being provided to Sri Lanka, the last of a series dating back to 2011.
Across five years the AFP has given the CID and other branches of the Sri Lankan police everything from furniture and office equipment to high-tech intelligence programs.
Among them is the Jade Investigator software program, which allows police to easily link photos, video, intelligence reports and other evidence together.
Another program given to the CID was IBM’s i2 Analyst’s Notebook, a powerful tool to visualize networks of people being targeted by a police force.
The AFP also handed over two machines that extract information held on mobile phones, including deleted emails, texts and location data.
The AFP also built or refurbished at least four offices in CID’s headquarters in Colombo.
A former diplomat, Bruce Haigh, who has served as Australia’s deputy high commissioner in Sri Lanka in 1994, has told ABC that the equipment could have been used to pursue the Sri Lankan government’s enemies.
“[The equipment could be used] to pick people up off the street and take them back to headquarters and interrogate, torture and in many cases eliminate them,” Mr Haigh said.
In November 2011 the AFP gave the CID a new white van. Such vans are synonymous with torture and kidnappings in the island nation.
“It’s become part and parcel of the operations of CID in Colombo,” Mr Haigh said.
Director of policy and advocacy at human rights group Freedom From Torture, Sonya Sceats, said her organization had worked with many survivors “who were tortured in Sri Lanka at the hands of the CID”. (ABC Online).
Click on below link to read the full report publish by ABC.