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Former parliamentarian demands for "political prisoners to be released as well" during COVID-19 crisis

Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) president and former Parliamentarian Selvam Adaikalanathan, has urged the Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to take immediate action to release political prisoners, just as the other prisoners have been released recently amid coronavirus (COVID-19) fears.

Adaikalanathan emphasized the various difficulties that the political prisoners have been subject to whilst in prison to be considered.          

In the interests of these political prisoners’ health and welfare, the parliamentarian demanded they should be released just like the rest of the inmates have been.

He sent an urgent letter yesterday to the President addressing the issue;

“Many political prisoners – who are carrying “cell” fragments in their body that they sustained during the civil war struggle - are suffering in prisons with no access to medical facilities.

There are political prisoners who have been given long sentences. Political prisoners are facing multiple difficulties in prison.

Prisoners are being released on bail in the country due to the fears of coronavirus.

As such, these prisoners’ situation warrants them to be given priority for release and the government should take swift action to do so.”

Around 2900 prisoners have been released on bail as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic within the country’s overcrowded jails in the last few weeks. However, many political prisoners remain imprisoned despite calls for their release.