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UN human rights chief welcomes CTF, backs foreign judges

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, especially the call for international judges to be involved in an accountability mechanism.

In a tweet sent out on Thursday morning, the official United Nations Human Rights Office account said High Commissioner Zeid “welcomes CTF recs, esp clear backing of hybrid court with local & foreign judges”.

A further tweet added, “Zeid has always urged the creation of a hybrid court in #SriLanka”.

A link to the High Commissioner’s comments following the release of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), which reiterates his call for” a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigator” was also tweeted.

The comments come following a rejection of the report’s recommendations and the call for international judges. “There will be no foreign judges, our policy will not change,” Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesman, Minister Rajitha Senaratne was quoted as saying by reporters.

#Zeid has always urged the creation of a hybrid court in #SriLanka. See his unchanged position https://t.co/9DYEHwKuo4 @AzzamAmeen

— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) January 5, 2017

#Zeid welcomes CTF recs, esp clear backing of hybrid court with local & foreign judges https://t.co/9DYEHwKuo4 #SriLanka

— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) January 5, 2017

The CTF was appointed by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, however neither he nor Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena were present at the report's hand over to government officials.