LONDON -- One of the men tortured in Sri Lanka said he was held for 21 days in a small dank room where he was raped 12 times, burned with cigarettes, beaten with iron rods and hung upside-down. Another man described being abducted from home by five men, driven to a prison, and taken to a "torture room" equipped with ropes, iron rods, a bench and buckets of water. There were blood splatters on the wall. A third man described the prisoners as growing accustomed to the sound of screaming. Raped, branded or beaten repeatedly, more than 50 men from the Tamil ethnic minority seeking political asylum in Europe say they were abducted and tortured under Sri Lanka's current government. The previously unpublished accounts conjure images of the country's bloody civil war that ended in -- not the palm-fringed paradise portrayed by the government. One by one, the men agreed to tell their stories to The Associated Press and to have the extensive scars on their legs, chests and groins photographed in July and August. The AP reviewed 32 medical and psychological evaluations and conducted interviews with 20 men. The strangers say they were accused of trying to revive a rebel group on the losing side of the civil war.
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Trio were amongst a group of men who posted semi-naked snaps of themselves taken at Pidurangala Rock. Three men who bared their bottoms as they posed for pictures at a sacred Buddhist site in Sri Lanka have been arrested. The actions of the young Sri Lankan nationals prompted backlash from members of the online community, who branded the images an insult to the religion. Pidurangala Rock is within walking distance of the ancient Sigiriya rock fortress, a Unesco World Heritage site often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. Sri Lankan police arrested the men after a Buddhist monk logged an official complaint about the images. However, the arrests have drawn a mixed reaction on social media. While some people praised the force for taking action, others insisted that their priorities were misplaced. They only seem to act on nonsensical non-issues like this," a Facebook user said. Briton Eleanor Hawkins, Canadians Lindsey and Danielle Peterson, and Dutchman Dylan Snel were given jail terms and fined after admitting they had disrespected the mountain gods and caused a public disturbance. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
A "white van" abduction
Thank you for signing up. Sorry, it looks like an error occurred. A social media photo has reportedly led to the arrests of three men in Sri Lanka on grounds of insensitivity. Sri Lankan police have reportedly arrested three men part of a group who took a bare-bum photo of themselves at a sacred Buddhist site. The young Sri Lankan nationals posted images to social media of themselves at Pidurangala Rock, a metre tall, hard-to-climb rock formation popular among hikers. The arrests reportedly came after a formal complaint by a Buddhist monk, who said the photo was a religious insult. Pidurangala Rock is few kilometres from the ancient city of Sigiriya, a Unesco World Heritage site often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. The arrests have drawn mixed reaction: some are pleased with police defending the religious icon, while others say authorities should have more important things to do. Pidurangala Rock is near the ancient city of Sigiriya pictured. There have been several instances over the last few years where semi-nude photos at sacred sites have drawn criticism from locals.
We hold power to account - sparking criminal investigations and exposing abuses. Help us do more. This article is based on discussions around cyber exploitation with students, parents and teachers in rural and urban Sri Lanka, grappling with the motivations for sharing naked pictures and videos.