Practice Relating to Rule 119. Accommodation for Women Deprived of Their Liberty
Sri Lanka’s Prisons Ordinance (1878), as amended to 2005, states:
ESTABLISHMENT AND OFFICERS OF PRISONS…
(3) In every prison in which female prisoners are detained there shall be at least one female officer.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
32. The matron shall reside in the prison or in such convenient place near thereto as the Superintendent shall by writing appoint; and she shall not without the Superintendent’s sanction absent herself from the prison or from her other dwelling place, nor shall she without such sanction be concerned in any other employment. It shall be her duty constantly to superintend the female prisoners.
33. The officer acting as gate-keeper, or any other prison officer, may examine anything carried into or out of the prison and may stop and search any person suspected of bringing spirits or other prohibited articles into the prison, and if any such articles or property be found shall give immediate notice thereof to the jailer:
Provided that the persons of females shall be searched by some female prison officer.
DISCIPLINE OF PRISONERS
48. The requisitions of this Ordinance with respect to the separation of prisoners are as follows:–
(a) males shall be separated from females …
50. Every prisoner under warrant or order for execution shall, immediately on his arrival in the prison after sentence, be searched by or by order of the jailer, and all articles shall be taken from him which the jailer deems it dangerous or inexpedient to leave in his possession:
Provided that the prisoner, if a female, shall be searched by some female prison officer.
53. Female prisoners shall in all cases be attended by female officers.
HEALTH OF PRISONERS
70. All prisoners shall be furnished with proper means of washing or otherwise cleansing themselves and of having their clothing washed; and provision shall be made for their bathing within the prison, if possible, or otherwise at the nearest convenient place; and during such bathing or washing care shall be taken that different classes and sexes of prisoners be kept separate.
These articles apply to persons deprived of their liberty under Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005) pursuant to section 19 of these regulations.
Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005), as amended to 2008, states:
20. (1) Any Public officer, any member of the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy or the Sri Lanka Air Force, or any other person authorized by the President to act under this regulation may search, detain for purposes of such search, or arrest without warrant, any person who is committing or has committed or whom he has reasonable ground for suspecting to be concerned in, or to be committing, or to have committed, an offence under any emergency regulation …
(7) Whenever it is necessary to cause a female to be searched, the search shall be made by another female.
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
29. … [Directions Issued by the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence on 7 July 2006] ensure that … [p]recautionary measures are also taken … to protect women … in custody …
46. Paragraph 4 of the Presidential Directions of 7 July 2006 provides that,
When a … woman is sought to be arrested or detained, a person of their choice should be allowed to accompany such … woman to the place of questioning. As far as possible, any such … woman so sought to be arrested or detained, should be placed in the custody of a Women’s Unit of the Armed Forces or the Police Force or in the custody of another woman military or police officer.
[footnote in original omitted]
Sri Lanka also stated:
Legal and institutional initiatives undertaken to facilitate rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers
81. Where such child is a female she has to be kept in a place which is separated from child or adult male surrendees or detainees if any and in the charge care and custody of a female officer.
Sri Lanka further stated:
33. The … [Directions Issued by the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence on 7 July 2006] also … [take] measures to regulate arrests:
(f) As far as possible such women [arrested or detained] should be placed in the custody … [of] a Women’s Unit of the Armed Forces or the Police Force or in the custody of another wom[a]n military or police officer, as per the above [Directions].
[footnote in original omitted]