UN says firm on freedom of assembly

Farhan-HaqThe United Nations (UN) has called for the right to peaceful assembly to be protected in Sri Lanka, days after a meeting organised by an NGO with families of the disappeared was disrupted in Maradana.

UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that the UN office in New York did not have first-hand details about the particular incident in Maradana.

“But what I can tell you is of course that we stand by and continue to uphold the right to peaceful assembly everywhere in the world, and that needs to be respected,” he said.

Haq said this at the daily press briefing held at the UN in New York, the UN office in New York reported.

Meanwhile, asked about the protection of witnesses giving evidence in the UN led probe on the war in Si Lanka, Haq said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had made comments earlier in terms of making sure that human rights defenders and others who provide information are kept safe and protected.

“Any of the use of the evidence would have to be in keeping with that, in terms of protecting sources of information,” Haq added. (Colombo Gazette)