Sri Lanka

Misuse of ICCPR Act and judicial system to stifle freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

In the last few months, a number of individuals have been arrested and charged under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act of 2007 for the peaceful expression of their views. Further, contempt of courts proceedings have been brought against academic and activist Sarath Wijesuriya and an intelligence office linked in the killing of a journalist has been reinstated. Following the April 2019 attacks social media was blocked temporarily. Read more

Misuse of ICCPR Act and judicial system to stifle freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

Activists concerned about counter-terror laws while impunity for past crimes persists

Civil society groups have raised concerns about the anti-terror laws. A journalist was attacked by a police officer in Kokuvil East, while a police officer investigating attacks on journalists during former president Mahinda Rajapaksha’s tenure was arbitrarily transferred. There has also been a lack of progress for crimes against journalists and aid workers that occurred during the conflict. Read more

Activists concerned about counter-terror laws while impunity for past crimes persists

Activists fear Rajapaksa’s return to power

Human rights groups have raised fears about a return to past abusive practices in the country after Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as President . Rajapaksa’s previous administration was implicated in serious human rights violations during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and in suppression of freedoms of the media, expression, and association
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Activists fear Rajapaksa’s return to power

Activists threatened and attacked while families of the disappeared protest hearings

Activists working on cases of enforced disappearances are being threatened and attacked . Families of the disappeared are protesting against meetings with the Office for Missing Persons (OMP), saying they had no faith in the body to ensure justice
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Activists threatened and attacked while families of the disappeared protest hearings

Government backs down on restrictive NGO law amendments

In late March 2018, the government agreed to withdraw proposed restrictive amendments to the NGO law. Social media was blocked in the wake of anti-Muslim riots. The government committed to protecting HRDs during the adoption of the UPR at the Human Rights Council Read more

Government backs down on restrictive NGO law amendments

Killing of jaffna students prompts unrest in northern Sri Lanka

The recent killing of two students from the University of Jaffna for failing to stop at a police barricade on 10th October has sparked protests across the island. Read more

Killing of jaffna students prompts unrest in northern Sri Lanka

Torture, abduction and ethnic violence continue in Sri Lanka

In early June Velauthapillai Renukaruban a British-Sri Lankan visiting his family home in Jaffna, Northern Sri Lanka, was abducted by security forces. Sinhalese and Tamil students clashed at Jaffna University, in Northern Sri Lanka leaving 10 people injured and forcing the campus to close for two weeks. Police, military intelligence services and troops from the military special task force were all reported to have been deployed, sparking fears of further harassment by the state forces of Tamil student activists. Read more