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A life of luxury, gone

November 8, 2017
A man known as Witness 221 during an interview in London, Thursday, July 27, 2017. He was held for two months before flying to Europe on a fake passport and being smuggled to the U.K. in a car trunk. He hasn't seen his wife and son for more than a year. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man known as Witness 221 during an interview in London, Thursday, July 27, 2017. He was held for two months before flying to Europe on a fake passport and being smuggled to the U.K. in a car trunk. He hasn't seen his wife and son for more than a year. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

More than 50 Tamil men seeking political asylum in Europe have come forward to say they were raped, branded and beaten repeatedly by Sri Lanka’s current security forces.

The strangers say they were accused of trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group, which the government fought in a bloody 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. They said the abuse occurred from early 2016 to mid-2017.

Sri Lanka has denied the allegations.

The men allowed The Associated Press to have their extensive scars on their legs, faces, chests and groins photographed in July and August. Here are some of their stories:

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Once Sri Lanka’s war ended, he found himself living the life of luxury.

Then, it was gone. He spent nearly three months detained in what he said was the infamous Joseph Camp where he was stripped and beaten with a cricket wicket. He was also burned and raped.

The 39-year-old man, now known as Witness #221, was smuggled out of his tropical homeland, on to a plane to Europe and then into England in the trunk of a car without his wife and children.

Missing his wife and children, however, makes his eyes well up with tears.

“Here they look after their dogs really well. Back in Sri Lanka, Tamils are treated worse than dogs. What is the point of karma if these men get away with what they are doing now?”

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