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Sri Lanka: Amid pandemic, Sri Lanka pardons soldier convicted of massacre

, Index number: ASA 37/2247/2020

On 26 March 2020, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa granted a Presidential pardon to Sergeant Sunil Rathnayaka a former soldier, convicted and sentenced to death by a five- member bench of the Supreme Court for the murder of eight civilians in December 2000 in Mirusuvil, Jaffna. The unarmed civilians were ethnic Tamils, internally displaced during the war in the north of Sri Lanka. Among the victims were three children aged 15, 13, and a five-year-old whose body sustained signs of torture. At least three legal challenges have already been filed against the presidential pardon.

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