Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 22:18
HRW, February 6, 2013 - (New York) – The Commonwealth should shift the venue of its November 2013 Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka unless its government makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to Commonwealth Heads of Government. Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on February 10, 2013 to discuss the upcoming meeting. The Sri Lankan government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken no meaningful steps to address serious abuses by government forces in the final months of the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, during which the United Nations has estimated that up to 40,000 civilians died. Since 2009 the government has been responsible for a worsening human rights situation that includes clampdowns on basic freedoms, attacks and threats against civil society, and actions against the judiciary and other institutions, imperiling Sri Lanka’s democracy.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 21:44
Brad Adams, Asia Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, February 6, 2013 - Dear Commonwealth Heads of Government, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to express our grave concerns about the Commonwealth’s decision to press forward with the holding of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November 2013. Unless Sri Lanka makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights issues, we urge that you change the venue for the 2013 summit.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 00:03
HRC World Report 2013: Srilanka, 01 Feb 2013 - The Sri Lankan government in 2012 continued its assault on democratic space and failed to take any meaningful steps towards providing accountability for war crimes committed by either side during the internal armed conflict that ended in 2009. The government targeted civil society through threats, surveillance, and clampdowns on activities and free speech. Statements by government officials and government-controlled media named and threatened human rights defenders who called for accountability for wartime abuses or criticized other government policies. Local activists expressed deep concern about the security of their staff and the people they assist. Overly broad detention powers remained in place under various laws and regulations. Several thousand people continued to be detained without charge or trial. State security forcescommitted arbitrary arrests and torture against ethnic minority Tamils, including repatriated Sri Lankan nationals allegedly linked to the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Tamil population in the north benefitted from humanitarian groups having greater access tothe area, but the government did not take adequate steps to normalize their living conditions. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers continued to accumulate power at the expense of democratic institutions. Calls to restore the independence of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other government commissions that Rajapaksa marginalized via the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution, which passed in 2010, went unheeded.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/05/2013 - 02:12
Human Rights Watch, January 4, 2013 - (London) – The arrest in the United Kingdom on January 3, 2013, of a Nepali army colonel suspected of torture sends a warning to those accused of serious crimes in Nepal and elsewhere that they cannot hide from the law forever, Human Rights Watch said today. Nepal failed to prosecute anyone for torture during the decade-long civil war in the nearly seven years since it ended. The army officer, who has not yet been named and is reportedly a UK resident, is alleged to have committed serious human rights violations during Nepal’s internal conflict between Maoist combatants and government forces. The conflict, in which 13,000 people died, ended with a peace agreement in 2006. The officer was arrested by London Metropolitan Police under section 134 of the 1988 Criminal Justice Act. The UK passed the law to meet its obligations under the Convention against Torture to prosecute anyone on its territory responsible for torture anywhere in the world.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:52
HRW, December 20, 2012 - (New York) – The Sri Lankan authorities should immediately release or credibly charge four ethnic Tamil students from Jaffna University who have been detained since early December 2012, Human Rights Watch said today. The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) arrested the students amid unrest in the northern city of Jaffna following a security crackdown in late November against attempts to commemorate dead leaders of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). “The Sri Lankan government needs to recognize that engaging in peaceful activities that conflict with the government’s views is an exercise of basic rights, not a criminal offense,” Adams said. “The four students should be promptly released unless the government has evidence they violated the law and charges them.”
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 11/17/2012 - 02:17
By Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, 16 Nov 2012 - After Ban Ki-moon let UN cover up #SriLanka's slaughter of 40,000+, the least he can do is set up a war-crimes probe.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 00:39
HRW, September 25, 2012 - When Commonwealth countries announced at the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia that Sri Lanka could host CHOGM 2013, they agreed to actively promote and uphold the fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth, including human rights and the rule of law. We therefore urge you to press for adequate and satisfactory human rights progress in Sri Lanka by CHOGM 2013. We believe that the failure of the Commonwealth and its members to do so would be contrary to the Commonwealth’s values and principles, and undermine its credibility.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 07/04/2012 - 00:49
HRW, 03 July 2012 - (New York) – The Sri Lankan government should immediately end harassment of media outlets and journalists in violation of the right to freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today. In the three years since the end of the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government has expanded its efforts to silence critical views. “The government raids did not just target two media outlets but were part of a broader effort to intimidate and harass all critical journalists,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Sri Lanka’s poor reputation on free speech will only sink lower unless these assaults on the media stop immediately.”
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 05/30/2012 - 02:10
HRW, 29 May 2012 - (London) – The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and review its policies in assessing these claims, Human Rights Watch said today. The next scheduled deportation of Tamils from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka is due to take place on May 31, 2012. Investigations by Human Rights Watch have found that some failed Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom and other countries have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture upon their return to Sri Lanka. In addition to eight cases in which deportees faced torture on return reported in February, Human Rights Watch has since documented a further five cases in which Tamil failed asylum seekers were subjected to torture by government security forces on return from various countries, most recently in February 2012. “The British government’s asylum procedure is failing to identify Tamils at risk of torture upon return to Sri Lanka despite growing evidence that torture of Tamil activists deported from abroad occurs,” said David Mepham, UK director at Human Rights Watch. “Until the government can fairly and thoroughly assess asylum claims based on up-to-date human rights information on Sri Lanka, it should suspend returns.”
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 05/01/2012 - 02:48
HRW, 30 April 2012 - (Melbourne) – Australia’s immigration minister should raise concerns with Sri Lankan officials about alleged arbitrary arrest and torture of people who were refused asylum and sent back to Sri Lanka when he visits this week, the Human Rights Law Centre and Human Rights Watch said today. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from May 2 to 4, 2012, to discuss migration issues, including preventing people smuggling from Sri Lanka to Australia. Bowen has said, “Australia will continue working closely with Sri Lanka on issues relating to people smuggling, including preventing and disrupting people smuggling ventures by air and sea.” The Human Rights Law Centre and Human Rights Watch called on Bowen and all senior Australian officials to ensure that respect for human rights and accountability for human rights violations are central to all discussions with their Sri Lankan counterparts.