Sri Lanka: Penalized for Protesting: Sri Lanka’s Crackdown on Protesters

Since February 2022, Sri Lankans have taken to the street to call for the resignations of then President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and for accountability for corruption, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and police misuse of force, amongst other causes. During recent protests the authorities yet again responded with a militarised approach, and in a number of instances misused force on peaceful protesters. This digest details the excessive use of force against protesters, the use of military to police protests and the failure to protect peaceful protesters. It also sets out how the government has cracked down on protesters who now face intimidation, harassment and arrest. Some of these arrests have been carried out in a manner contravening due process. The suppression of protest and the right to freedom of assembly, movement and expression must stop and the government must protect the right to peaceful protest.

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