Elections are not a green light for international community to ignore torture – FFT

mahinda-hitlerA UK based charity called on the international community not to ignore human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, in the aftermath of parliamentary elections held on the island earlier this week.Sonya Sceats, Director Policy and Advocacy at Freedom from Torture, a charity which works with the victims of torture, said in a statement that the group hopes the conclusion of the elections “creates a climate for a concerted effort by the new government to deliver root and branch reforms after decades of abuses, including the entrenched torture that we highlight in our report Tainted Peace”.“However the international community should not interpret the election as a green light that all is well on human rights.”

Speaking on the changes that have happened in Sri Lanka since Maithripala Sirisena came into power earlier this year, the statement said:

“To date, however, the leadership has failed to take on vested interests in the military, police and intelligence sectors responsible for ongoing torture documented by our expert doctors. The government should use its new democratic mandate to initiate bold plans to eradicate torture and hold perpetrators accountable.”

execution_clip“Until such reforms are satisfactorily delivered, the international community must remain circumspect about the present human rights situation in the country,” it continued.

“For countries hosting Sri Lankan asylum seekers, including the UK, this means taking great care not to return anyone to a risk of torture at the hands of those who, after years of impunity, now have something to lose if witnesses to past torture and other abuses are given freedom to speak out. ”

See related articles:

War Crime sri lanka-Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka rejects torture report (18 Aug 2015)Ranil says torture report will be addressed after OISL report is released (13 Aug 2015)

 

Strong international involvement needed to address ongoing torture in Sri Lanka says Freedom From Torture (13 Aug 2015)