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European Parliament member raises concerns over torture in Sri Lanka

On 14 October European MEP Ignazio Corrao, from Italy’s Five Star Movement, raised concerns about Sri Lanka’s continued use of torture and sexual violence under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

In his statement, Corrao noted the deliberate targeting of Tamil and Muslim communities.

A full record of his statement reads:

“After the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the police and army started targeting members of the population that they suspected of being linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or the Easter Sunday attacks. Suspects were abducted and transported to a cell, where they were tortured and raped in an attempt to get information.

These arrests were carried out under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which contains many components that fail to provide for the respect of fundamental human rights. In 2015, Sri Lanka co-sponsored the 30/1 Resolution with the UN Human Rights Council and committed to repealing the PTA.

Since then, the government has drafted the Counter-Terrorism Act (CTA), which is still inconsistent with the country’s human rights obligations.

1. As part of the European External Action Service’s (EEAS’s) ‘EU4Human Rights’ initiative, what concrete actions has the EU taken to ensure that the PTA is repealed and that the Sri Lankan Government is held accountable for the ongoing torture of detainees?

2. What monitoring is taking place with a view to improving the CTA?

3. What specific projects are being carried out by the EEAS in Sri Lanka to ensure that the Muslim community is protected from the ongoing tensions?”

Read more here.