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Full international investigation, nothing less - HRW

Human Rights Watch today joined the growing chorus urging the UN Human Rights Council to hold Sri Lanka accountable for war crimes.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Brad Adams, Asia director at the group said,

“When a UN Panel of Experts report concludes up to 40,000 civilians died amid war crimes, the Human Rights Council should feel compelled to act.

The council should order a full international investigation – anything less would be a shameful abdication of responsibility.

The report commissioned by the UN Secretary-General was sent to the Human Rights Council on the opening day of their 3-week meeting in Geneva.

It contained details of credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s offensive in May 2009 and called for a full international investigation mechanism to be established.

Sri Lanka dismissed the report as “biased, baseless and unilateral” and was caught off guard by the decision to hand the report over to the council.

Adams also rebuffed Sri Lanka’s denials saying,

“The Sri Lankan government has stone-walled allegations of abuse for more than two years, making ridiculous claims about global conspiracies and faked evidence.

The Human Rights Council should tell the government that time is running out. If the Sri Lankan government won’t provide justice for victims, the international community will.

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