Australia accused of providing assistance to Sri Lanka to torture Tamils The Australian Federal Police (AFP) stands accused of providing equipment and other assistance to the Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to torture Tamil civilians. Equipment ranging from furniture to high end software, which links photos videos and intelligence reports, were given to the Sri Lankan police according to a set of documents obtained by ABC News. Machines to extract data from mobile phones, including location data, and other software tools were also passed on. Australian authorities faced strong criticism following the release, including from former diplomat Bruce Haigh, who served as Australia’s deputy high commissioner in Sri Lanka in 1994. “[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,” said Mr Haigh, who added that torture and kidnappings are “part and parcel of the operations of CID in Colombo”. “It’s got a reputation worldwide for doing this sort of thing,” he said. “The so-called white van syndrome where they used white vans to pick people up off the street and then relatives and family would never see those people again.” Director of policy and advocacy at Freedom From Torture, Sonya Sceats, also commented on the findings, saying, “their (CID) headquarters in Colombo, known as the Fourth Floor, is a notorious torture facility”. “Freedom From Torture can say categorically that torture has continued in Sri Lanka,” Ms Sceats said. “It is perpetrated by the CID and other arms of the state in Sri Lanka… It is deeply entrenched in the operating procedures of the CID.” Source: ABC/ Tamil Guardian