Experts dismayed by regressive steps, call for renewed UN scrutiny and efforts to ensure accountability

UN human rights experts have expressed their deep concern on 5 February 2021 about the reversal of important democratic gains achieved since 2015 and roll back on limited progress made on accountability, reconciliation in Sri Lanka since the Government withdrew its support from the resolution Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 in February 2020. 

UN human rights experts M. Clément Voule (Togo), the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances consisting of Tae-Ung Baik (Chair-Rapporteur), Henrikas Mickevičius (Vice Chair), Ms. Aua Baldé, Bernard Duhaime, and Luciano Hazan, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention consisting of Ms Leigh Toomey (Chair-Rapporteur), Ms Elina Steinerte (Vice-Chair), Ms Miriam Estrada-Castillo, Mumba Malila, and Seong-Phil Hong , the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego Garcia-Sayan, the Special Rapporteur on minority issues Fernand De Varennes, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Nils Melzer and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Fabián Salvioli called on the UN Human Rights Council and the international community to keep the human rights situation in Sri Lanka under a high level of scrutiny and to explore all possible options for advancing accountability in the country, including through further international accountability measures.

The UN experts also urged the Sri Lankan authorities to stop rolling back hard fought progress made in recent years on rebuilding democratic institutions, and to press for accountability for past crimes and deliver justice for victims and promote reconciliation between communities.

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