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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.
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UN Human Rights Council Should Pursue Accountability

(Geneva) – Sri Lanka’s government is aggressively attacking efforts to hold officials to account for past grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 93-page report, “Open Wounds and Mounting Dangers: Blocking…
A older man in glasses clapping
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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.
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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,…
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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
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Consultations Highlight Broad Accountability Concerns

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s government should promptly implement recommendations on transitional justice proposed by the Consultation Task Force (CTF) in a report released on January 3, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The report reflects the first broad…
sri lanka CTF image 20170110
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Leading Rights Groups Denounce Comments Condoning Abuses

(Sydney) – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott should retract his November 15, 2013 remarks condoning the use of torture in Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Law Centre, Amnesty International Australia, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights…
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19 Sri Lankans, Including 6 Women, at Grave Risk of Torture if Returned

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should not deport 19 Tamil refugees to Sri Lanka because they would be at serious risk of torture and persecution upon return. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has recognized all 19 as refugees,…
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Sri Lankan security forces have been using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in…
Report
"We Will Teach You a Lesson" Sexual Violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces Map of Sri Lanka Summary Key Recommendations Methodology…
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Beheading May Be Imminent for Rizana Nafeek, Age 17 at Alleged Killing

UPDATE: On January 9, 2013, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17 years old. Human Rights Watch strongly condemns the execution…
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Oral Statement Under Item 4

At its March 2012 session, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka calling on the government to implement the recommendations of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on accountability and other issues. Instead of…
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Urgently Review Tamil Allegations of Torture

(London) – The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations to Sri Lanka of ethnic Tamils with real or imputed links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or who have engaged in activities the Sri Lankan authorities might view as anti-…
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Credible Allegations of Arrest and Torture upon Return

(New York) – The United Kingdom should suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and immediately review its policies and information about the country’s rights situation used to assess their claims, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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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…
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Sri Lankan Under 18 at Time of Alleged Killing

(New York) - The Saudi Court of Appeals should recognize that a foreign worker on death row was a child at the time of her alleged crime, when a baby died in her care, Human Rights Watch said today. The court should also review the fairness of the…