Document - Sri Lanka: Open letter to Sri Lanka's President on the killing of 26 detainees

Media Advisory


27 October 2000

AI Index ASA 37/031/2000 - News Service Nr. 206


Open letter to Sri Lanka's President on the killing of 26 detainees


Wednesday's gruesome killing of at least 26 Tamil young men and boys aged between 14 and 23 who were detained for "rehabilitation" near Bandarawela, Sri Lanka, should be investigated fully, Amnesty International said today in an open letter to the President Kumaratunga.


Police and army personnel deployed at the rehabilitation camp failed to protect the inmates from villagers armed with machetes and clubs. There are further allegations that some of them may have been involved in inciting the villagers or may have assisted them in entering the camp.


The organization welcomed the President's condemnation of the attack and that two police teams were sent to investigate the scene immediately. However a full impartial investigation is needed to ensure that those found responsible are brought to justice and that compensation is paid to the victims and the relatives of those killed.


It also urged for a thorough review of provisions in the Emergency Regulations and the Prevention of Terrorism Act which allow for prolonged detention and were key contributing factors in this latest incident.


\ENDS


public document

****************************************

For more a copy of the open letter please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5729/5566

Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW web : http://www.amnesty.org

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE