Search Results

Sort by
News

Release Hejaaz Hizbullah and Others Denied Due Process under Abusive Law

Joint Statement  July 28, 2021 (New York) – Human Rights Watch joined 10 other organizations on July 28, 2021 in issuing the following statement seeking the release of the lawyer and activist Hejaaz Hizbullah and others held under Sri Lanka’s…
202107asia_srilanka_joint
News

Repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act to Meet International Commitments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government’s pardon of 16 prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), however welcome, does not address the urgent need to repeal the draconian law, Human Rights Watch said today. The European…
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's addresses parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 20, 2020.
News

Uphold Pledges to United Nations, European Union

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government should abide by its commitments to replace the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) with legislation that respects its international human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. The cabinet of…
General Shavendra Silva is seen at the Ampara Air Force camp in eastern Sri Lanka August 24, 2009.
News

Nearly 300 Killed in Eight Bombings of Churches, Hotels

  The attacks in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday, are contemptible acts of violence for which those responsible should be brought to justice, Human Rights Watch said today. Nearly 300 people were killed and…
Relatives light candles after burial of three victims of the same family, who died at Easter Sunday bomb blast at St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 22, 2019.
News

Protections Against Torture, But Reforms Fall Short

(Colombo) – Sri Lanka’s draft counterterrorism law significantly improves upon the current, abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) but needs further safeguards against rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a commentary…
Sri Lankan police stand guard at a protest calling for the release of Tamil activists being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 14, 2015.
News

Human Rights Watch Submission to Parliament

Summary The draft Counter Terrorism Act of 2018 (CTA)[1] represents a significant improvement over previous proposals to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA),[2] although several  problematic provisions remain. The bill narrows…
News

Re: Draft Counter Terrorism Act of 2018

Dear Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Human Rights Watch welcomes Sri Lanka’s renewed efforts to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1979 (PTA) with a law that meets its reform commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council and…
News
It’s been 15 years since Ajith Debagama Kankanalamage, fled Sri Lanka after a decade of torture and sexual abuse by the military.  He thought he was headed to Canada, but he was abandoned by brokers without his passport or money in Hong…
Two mothers hold their children in their arms as they wait outside the immigration department's building in Hong Kong, China.
Report
Summary In August 2008, Sri Lankan police were searching for Malathi’s son, Kanna, whom they accused of aiding and abetting the insurgent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Malathi, who asked that her real name not be used,…
News

Failure to Meet Pledges on Accountability, Counterterrorism Reforms

(Geneva) – The Sri Lankan government has failed to fulfill its pledge to abolish the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. For decades, the PTA has been used to arbitrarily detain…
Sri Lankan police stand guard at a protest calling for the release of Tamil activists being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 14, 2015.
Report
Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
News

Draft Law Falls Far Short of Colombo’s Pledges to United Nations

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s latest counterterrorism bill falls far short of the government’s pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council to end abusive detention without charge, Human Rights Watch said today. The Cabinet approved the…
Sri Lanka: Anti-Terror Bill Revives Concerns of Abuse PHOTO
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News
As one would expect from so eloquent a leader, Barack Obama has brought a marked improvement in presidential rhetoric on human rights compared with his predecessor. In a series of speeches around the world, carefully tailored for each audience, the…
News

Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Human Rights Watch is concerned about a number of practices which in Switzerland have led to serious instances of human rights violations that erode the implementation of international standards of human rights protection in the country. Human Rights…
News

Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…
News

Regarding the Swiss Government’s Use of Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture for Extraditions to Turkey

Dear President Calmy-Rey: Thank you for your letter of April 4, 2007, which sets forth your government’s position on the use of diplomatic assurances against torture and ill-treatment. Human Rights Watch remains extremely concerned about the efforts of…
News

Government Abuses Legislation to Clamp Down on Criticism

(New York) - The Sri Lankan government is abusing antiterrorism legislation to clamp down on journalists who expose human rights abuses, official corruption, or otherwise question the government’s handling of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of…
News
Letter to the Swiss Government Regarding Diplomatic Assurances and Pending Extradition Cases December 14, 2006 Re: The use of diplomatic assurances in pending extradition cases Dear President Leuenberger and Minister Calmy-Rey: I am writing to express…