U.K. top court rules in favour of Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker

Asylum seeker

Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of a Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker’s claim that the Home Office was wrong to reject his contention that he was tortured back in Sri Lanka, and asked the Upper Tribunal to look at the case afresh, in what is considered a landmark judgment, the Hindu reported.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment, also pointed to “well established evidence” of “extensive torture” by Sri Lankan state forces in 2009.

The individual named as KV arrived in the U.K. in 2011 and claimed asylum, alleging that he was tortured by Sri Lankan forces on suspicion of association with the LTTE. He had “five long scars on his back and two shorter scars on his right arm,” which were the clear “product of branding with a hot metal rod.”

However, the tribunal that looked at the case concluded that the wounds were the result of “self-inflicted by proxy”(SIBP) and inflicted on him voluntarily in an attempt to “manufacture” evidence for an asylum claim, rejecting evidence on behalf of KV from a medical expert who said clinical findings – based on the Istanbul Protocol (the international guidelines on documenting torture) – were highly consistent with his account of torture. The Court of Appeal reached a similar conclusion.

Sceats, chief executive of Freedom from Torture, one of three human rights organisations that submitted evidence to the court.