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Diplomats at the United Nations Human Rights Council don’t expect someone allegedly associated with a death squad to be among their colleagues. Yet that is the situation confronting officials in Geneva since Sri Lanka’s new permanent…
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Dharisha Bastians Targeted for Reports, Defense of Human Rights

(New York) – The Sri Lankan authorities should stop targeting, intimidating, and harassing journalist and woman human rights defender, Dharisha Bastians, and her family. The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty…
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Just before and during the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Sri Lankan authorities made several announcements to signify their commitment to pledges made in an October 2015 resolution on justice and…
Women conduct a silent protest to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Colombo, August 30, 2016.
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The draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) remains in force, and there have been several arrests under this law in the past year Civil society groups are once again able to speak out safely on issues of concern There has been no tangible…
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera speaks during a news conference on a UN report about Sri Lanka’s civil conflict, in Colombo on September 17, 2015.
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July 17, the Day of International Criminal Justice, is the anniversary of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Anniversaries are often cause for celebration, but the ICC—the world’s…
The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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Letter from Mannar

The causeway that links northern Sri Lanka’s mainland to Mannar Island is lined with vast military barracks. They have a nicely settled air about them, with painted flowerpots out front and T-shirts drying on clotheslines. Between the army camps are…
A family of internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils wait in Kathankulam village in Mannar, Sri Lanka on October 22, 2009.
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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The Arab uprisings have been a poignant reminder of how the Internet can promote free expression and assembly, but also how governments can try abuse it. The medium used by demonstrators to organize protests and bring medical supplies to Tahrir Square,…
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The Nigerian government, which is proudly hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting beginning today needs to get its own house in order before it can claim credibility in terms of human rights. Despite President Olusegun Obasanjo's leading…
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From everything we have heard from Tony Blair in recent days and weeks, it seems unlikely that he will wish to ask Vladimir Putin difficult questions when the two leaders meet at Downing Street today. On the contrary. The Prime Minister seems eager to go…