17 Mar 2014

Fears for human rights campaigners

6:02 pm on 17 March 2014

A prominent human rights campaigner in Sri Lanka has been detained by police in the former war zone in the north of the country.

Ruki Fernando.

Ruki Fernando. Photo: AFP

Ruki Fernando was detained with another activist as they were looking into the detention of a woman who was campaigning to discover the whereabouts of her missing son conscripted by Tamil Tiger rebels.

Fellow activists say they are very concerned for the safety of Mr Fernando, a campaigner who has won an international award for his human rights work in Sri Lanka, and a Catholic priest, Father Praveen, the BBC reports.

Based on phone calls, they believe the two men being questioned in Kilnochchi by 15 officers of Sri Lanka's terrorist investigation division.

Earlier, Mr Fernando had sent out a text saying that he was under arrest, but then went out of contact.

He has been trying to document the case of Jeyakumari Balendran, a woman who the Defence Ministry has sent to jail on a detention order, accusing her of harbouring a criminal.