Russia, Ukraine: Sri Lankan ex-prisoners share horrors at Russian concentration camps in Ukraine – BBC News Thai

21 September 2022, 08:38 +07

The recapture of the Ukrainian city of Izoum from Russia reveals the atrocities committed by the Russian army. Ukraine has been accused of war crimes

As well as hundreds of graves of Ukrainian civilians The BBC also spoke to a group of Sri Lankans who said they had been detained and tortured for months.

“We thought he wouldn’t survive,” said Delujan Pathinajakan.

Delujan was one of seven Sri Lankans who were captured by the Russian army in May after they raided their home in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kupiansk. He hoped that life would be safer in the city of Kharkiv, 120 km away.

But at the first checkpoint found They were caught by the Russian army. They were blindfolded, handcuffed and taken to a mechanical equipment factory in Vovtchansk. near the Russian border

That was the beginning of a nightmare of four months where they were subjected to labor and torture.

Warning: This story contains details that may make you uncomfortable.

This group of Sri Lankans came to Ukraine in search of work. or come to study By now they had become prisoners with very little food. And they are only allowed to use the bathroom for 2 minutes a day, Sometimes they are allowed to take a shower. But it is also limited to 2 minutes only.

The men, mostly in their 20s, were kept in a single room, while Mary Edit Uthajkumar, the only woman in the group, was taken to a separate detention facility.

Mary Edited by Uthajkumar
heading,

Mary said it was the loneliness that affected her the most.

“They locked us in a room,” she recalls. “They beat us in the shower. They didn’t allow me to meet other people. We were locked inside for three months.”

Mary’s face has scars from a car bomb in Sri Lanka. He had a heart attack but was not receiving medication.

But it was the loneliness that affected her the most.

“When alone I was stressed,” she recalls. “They said I had a mental health problem and gave me medication. But I refuse to eat.”

Other Sri Lankans have more traces of horrific experiences. A man took off his shoes and saw that his toenails had been pulled with tongs. It was also said that another man had been tortured.

These Sri Lankans report being tortured for no apparent reason. They said the Russian soldiers were drunk and attacked them.

“They hit me several times with guns,” said Thinesh Kogenthiran, a 35-year-old man.

“We are very angry and sad. We cry every day,” said Deluxion, Robert Clive, 25.

The Sri Lankans released with the Ukrainian police in Kharkiv, 18 September 22
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Sri Lankan group with the help of Ukrainian police

“The only thing that can keep us fighting is prayer. and good memories with the family.”

Russian authorities have denied targeting civilians. and did not commit war crimes. But the claims of this Sri Lankan group are among several that point to the opposite.

Ukraine previously dug a mass grave near Izoum. Traces of beating victims were found. and President Volodymyr Zelensky came out and said More than 10 torture chambers were found in several recaptured cities in the Kharkiv region.

Seven Sri Lankans were freed after Ukrainian forces recaptured the eastern part of the country this month. including the city of Wartchansk

and one more time They started setting foot in Kharkiv alone, without any mobile phones, no way to contact their family.

But eventually someone saw them come in and called the police. And one of the cops lends them a mobile phone.

Nkaranathan Ganesamouthi, 40, shouted as he saw his wife and children on their mobile phones, and others were able to reach out to their families as well. Finally, everyone hugged the police.

Later they were taken to Kharkiv. receive treatment and receive new clothes Stay in a rehabilitation center with a swimming pool and gym.

“I feel very happy right now,” said Delakchan with a big smile.

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