Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 18:18 UK

'Clashes' in Sri Lankan centre

Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka (15 August 2009)
Most Tamil refugees are held in larger refugee camps

A detainee at an unofficial detention centre in Sri Lanka has been injured after clashes broke out with the army, Amnesty International has said.

The international human rights group says that a Tamil man was initially reported to have been killed while trying to escape from the centre.

The rumour is said to have sparked unrest at the camp.

Amnesty says up to 1,000 people suspected of having ties to the Tamil Tigers have been detained since May.

There has been no comment from the government about the incident, which Amnesty said took place at a school in Vavuniya in north-eastern Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

"The danger of serious human rights violations, including torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings increases substantially when detainees are held in locations that are not officially acknowledged places of detention and lack proper legal procedures and safeguards," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia Director.

Amnesty says that detainees in centres such as the Poonthotham Teachers Training College are "being held incommunicado, meaning they have not had access to family members or legal counsel and have not appeared in court".

"Arrangements should be made for independent monitoring of screening processes," an Amnesty statement says, "and Tamil Tiger suspects must be held only in recognised places of detention and be brought before a judicial authority without delay after being taken into custody."

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