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CIVICUS adds Sri Lanka to 'human rights watch list'

Sri Lanka has been added to a “human rights watch list” by CIVICUS, a global alliance of over 10,000 civil society organisations, which highlighted the violent crackdown on anti-government protests and attacks on journalists.

Stating that there has been a “rapid decline in civic freedoms”, CIVICUS said there had been a “lack of accountability for the attack on protesters peacefully demonstrating”.

“The Sri Lankan authorities must refrain from arbitrarily arresting people for simply exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and ensure that those detained have access to lawyers and are not ill-treated in detention. It must also immediately and impartially investigate all instances of excessive force and extrajudicial killings committed by the security forces, make the findings public and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Josef Benedict, Asia researcher for CIVICUS.

“The authorities must investigate the attacks by pro-government supporters against protesters on 9 May, including politicians who may have incited them,” added Basil Fernando, Director for Policy and Programme, Asian Human Rights Commission.

“Failing to do so will further exacerbate the culture of impunity.  It must also ensure that journalists can to work freely and without fear of retribution for covering the protests and any charges brought against them are dropped.”

Sri Lankan joins other states including Chad, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico and Hungary, on the watch list.

See more from CIVICUS here.

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