Sri Lanka: ‘Ready to suppress any protest’: Unlawful use of weapons during protests

During 2022 and 2023, Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities responded to unprecedented protests in Sri Lanka with unlawful use of tear gas and water cannon and the misuse of batons. Law enforcement authorities used tactics of obstruction, surveillance, and intimidation of protests, creating a chilling effect on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. The suppression of protest must stop and the government must ensure that law enforcement authorities adopt an approach to policing of public assemblies that complies with international standards and upholds the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Sri Lanka.

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