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Sri Lanka's concept of accountability not in accordance of international standards - BHRC Chair

Sri Lanka's concept of accountability has not been in accordance with international standards, said the Chair of the BAR Human Rights Committee for England and Wales, whilst calling on Sri Lanka to take a “first step by providing a list of names of all those detained.”

Speaking to Tamil Guardian at the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Kirsty Brimelow QC, said,

“So far the Sri Lankan government’s concept of accountability has not been in accordance with international standards. Truth, justice and reparation equals accountability. This means putting victims at the heart of investigations and providing them and witnesses robust protection so that they can give their evidence without fear. If Sri Lanka’s national institutions lack independent functioning so that impunity continues, it needs to appoint independent international legal support.”

Describing a tangible confidence building measure that Sri Lanka’s government could take, she added,

“A first basic step from Sri Lanka is to provide a list of names of all those detained and the legal basis for their detention. This will provide some clarity for grieving families who do not know if their loved ones are dead or alive”

Kirsty Brimelow QC led a team of barristers working on a study into sexual violence in Sri Lanka post conflict which was published by Yasmin Sooka, the BAR Human Rights Committee for England and Wales and The International Truth and Justice Project:Sri Lanka. 

The report entitled "An Unfinished War:Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka, 2009-2014" examined 40 cases of sexual violence and torture against Tamils.