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Human rights must be at the heart of next presidency says Amnesty

Amnesty International calls on Sri Lanka’s next president to put human rights at the heart of their policies.

The human rights organisation has urged the Presidential candidates to protect key human rights issues, repeal repressive laws such as the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), protect civic space, abolish the death penalty and protect religious and sexual minorities.

“The families of the disappeared, the victims of torture and sexual violence, the people forced off their land, and others who have suffered grave human rights violations must not be forgotten. The suspected perpetrators must be held accountable,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International.

Amnesty’s statement also highlighted Sri Lanka’s “dismayingly slow progress” on their 2015 commitments to “pursue truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence for victims of the 26-year long internal conflict that ended in 2009.”

“The next Sri Lankan president faces a test: Will they have the political will to allow people to speak protest and organise freely or will they go the way of weak demagogues who choose to silence criticism by using fear?”

Read full statement here.