Human rights report urges Sri Lanka to translate promises into action

1240066191feaA report on the state of human rights around the world has urged Sri Lanka to translate its promises of accountability into action.

Amnesty International noted that the UN Human Rights Council resolution in September on an investigation into atrocities committed during the conflict offers a ray of hope to victims and family members, but precious little has happened since.

“There have been some marked improvements on human rights in Sri Lanka during the year, notably on freedom of expression. People are not as afraid to speak out anymore as reports of the dreaded ‘white van’ kidnappings have dried up. The UN Human Rights Council resolution in September on an investigation into atrocities committed during the conflict offers a ray of hope to victims and family members, but precious little has happened since. The Government must now translate its promises of accountability into action,” Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director said following the release of the world report.

Amnesty International launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world today and warned that international protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights.

Amnesty International has documented how many Governments have brazenly broken international law in 2015 in their national contexts: more than 98 states tortured or otherwise ill-treated people and 30 or more illegally forced refugees to return to countries where they would be in danger. In at least 18 countries, war crimes or other violations of the “laws of war” were committed by Governments or armed groups. (Colombo Gazette)