Document - Sri Lanka: Continuing impunity, arbitrary detentions, torture and enforced disappearances

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL �MEDIA ADVISORY ��AI index: ASA 37/011/2012

30 October 2012 ��Sri Lanka: Continuing impunity, arbitrary detentions, torture and enforced disappearances ��On Thursday 1 November, the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka will take place – the first such review since May 2008, when the government was engaged in an armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in the country’s north. ��Amnesty International notes the lack of progress on a number of human rights issues highlighted in the first review four years ago, and has raised these concerns in a submission to the UPR. ��While the government of Sri Lanka has defeated the LTTE, it has failed to implement commitments to enhance human rights protections and to account for past violations. ��It has yet to repeal oppressive anti-terrorism legislation which is used to justify abusive practices including arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of expression. A lack of witness protection laws and continued lack of independence of the National Human Rights Commission had added to a culture of impunity for human rights violations. ��Amnesty International continues to receive reports of enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment in detention, which the authorities refuse to investigate. Security forces’ use of arbitrary arrests and detentions have targeted members of armed groups, political opponents and journalists. ��Further information: ��- Amnesty International spokespeople will be present in Geneva observing the UPR session and are available for interviews. �- Link to Amnesty International’s submission on Sri Lanka to the UN Universal Periodic Review, October-November 2012: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA37/008/2012/en/5747cec0-7e77-486f-9859-9623ee127b20/asa370082012en.pdf �- The Sri Lanka UPR session on 1 November at 14:30 CET will be live streamed here: https://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp �- Amnesty International will put out a statement with a reaction following the review of Sri Lanka, and take part in a civil society debriefing in Geneva on 2 November. �- On 5 November at 16:15 CET in the Press Room of Palais des Nations, Amnesty International, Action Contre la Faim and the International Commission of Jurists will co-host a press conference in Geneva. Dr Manoharan, whose son Ragihar was shot dead by Sri Lankan security forces in 2006, will also be present at the press conference. ��To arrange an interview or for any other information, please contact Olof Blomqvist, Amnesty International Asia Pacific Press Officer, at olof.blomqvist@amnesty.org / + 44 207 413 5871 / +44 7904 397 956 ��Olof Blomqvist �Press Officer Asia/Pacific �Media Programme, Amnesty International – International Secretariat �Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7413 5871 �Mobile: +44 (0) 790 4397 956 �Out of hours Press Mobile (7pm GMT – 9am GMT and weekends) +44 (0) 777 847 2126 �www.amnesty.org

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