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Sri Lanka: Delay of key UN human rights report must not herald further impunity

    February 16, 2015

    The decision by the UN Human Rights Council to delay, until September, the release of a key report into widespread human rights violations during the conflict in Sri Lanka must not allow the perpetrators of horrific crimes during the country’s armed conflict to escape punishment, said Amnesty International.

    “Sri Lankan victims of human rights violations deserve truth and justice. Survivors of torture, including sexual abuse, people whose family members were killed or forcibly disappeared have waited a long time for this report,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director.

    “A delay is only justifiable if more time will lead to a stronger document and to a concrete commitment by the new Sri Lankan authorities to actively pursue accountability. This includes by co-operating with the UN to investigate conflict-era abuses and bring perpetrators to justice.”

    The Human Rights Council must also be vigilant and ensure that all those coming forward to give testimony are protected from any potential threats from those who do not want justice to prevail.

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said today “I give my personal, absolute and unshakeable commitment that the report will be published by September” and that he had received a clear commitment from the new Sri Lankan authorities to cooperate on various issues related to the UN investigation.  

    Talking points:
    ·        Human rights abuses committed during the internal armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
    ·        Current human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
    ·        Lack of investigations into human rights abuses.

    For more information:
    Sri Lanka: Promises of a new beginning - international cooperation is essential to ensure justice, accountability and an end to impunity, 16 February 2015.


    For more information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332