UK nurse leaves Sri Lanka after tattoo jail ordeal

COLOMBO, April 24, 2014 (AFP) – A British nurse jailed in Sri Lanka for sporting a Buddha tattoo left the country Thursday after suffering what she says was sexual and other harassment by prison officers. Naomi Coleman said she was exhausted but relieved to be heading home after she was arrested at the main international airport on Monday and sent to a jail and a deportation centre.

The 37-year-old had been planning a holiday on the majority Buddhist island when she was detained over the tattoo on her upper right arm which Sri Lankan authorities found offensive.

“I have been treated very badly. I am exhausted,” Coleman told AFP as she waited to board a Sri Lankan Airlines flight to London.

“I just want to go home,” said Coleman, a mental health nurse from Coventry.

Coleman has told AFP that she feared being raped while in Negombo prison near the airport after a male guard made lewd gestures indicating that he wanted to have sex with her.

“I was subject to sexual harassment,” she said.”I did not feel safe.”

A female guard at Negombo also demanded a bribe to avoid undergoing a “thorough” body search, she said. Coleman spent one night in the prison before being transferred to a