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'Crisis of impunity in Sri Lanka' - ICJ

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), a body of 60 eminent judges and lawyers across the world condemned the lack of justice for victims of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and the "climate of impunity" in a report released on Thursday - 'Authority with Accountability: The Crisis of Impunity in Sri Lanka'.

Speaking ahead of Sri Lanka's UPR, ICJ's Asia Director said,

"Victims and survivors of major human rights violations do not receive redress, and perpetrators are not brought to justice. The absence of justice removes an important deterrent to future perpetrators."

This situation is the very definition of a climate of impunity, and constitutes a serious breach of Sri Lanka’s international obligation to protect and promote human rights.”

The situation has gotten particularly bad in the past few months, as we’ve seen the attacks on the judiciary turn into acts of physical violence.”

“The Sri Lankan government must immediately act to reaffirm the independence of the judiciary and to protect judges and legal officers from violence.”

In its report, the ICJ urged the government to repeal all statutes that protect state officials from prosecutions for human rights violations, repeal article 35(1)-(3) of the constitution that awards immunity to the president during office, establish an independent office to oversee the prosecution of state officials, ensure emergency orders by the president are subject to judicial review, and repeal or amend the 18th Amendment.

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