Search Results

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

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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.
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
Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News

General Assembly Should Pass Strong Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

(New York) – The United Nations General Assembly should approve a new resolution and make clear that indiscriminate surveillance is never consistent with the right to privacy, five human rights organizations said in a November 20, 2013 letter to members…
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

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
The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
Report
Cases Involving Diplomatic Assurances against Torture Developments since May 2005 Introduction Austria Mohamed Bilasi-Ashri (Update) Canada Lai Cheong Sing (Update) Security Certificate Cases (Update) Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub: Torture…