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Successive Sri Lankan authorities have ignored commissions – Amnesty International

Amnesty International stated that successive Sri Lankan governments have appointed and largely ignored commissions to investigate the issue of disappearances on the island.

In a statement released to mark the “The Day of the Disappeared” on 30 August, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said:

“Governments in every region of the world, from Syria to Mexico and from Sri Lanka to Gambia may be holding hundreds or even thousands in secret detention. In many countries, the authorities continue harassing and intimidating those who are looking for their relatives. The struggle for justice must not cease.”

Amnesty International said that “tens of thousands are presumed to have disappeared” in Sri Lanka with “very few cases have been resolved and there has been blatant intimidation reported against families who have dared to ask questions about the whereabouts of their loved ones”.

“Several commissions have been appointed by successive governments since 1990 implicating leading politicians and high ranking officers in the police and security forces,” continued the statement. “However, the authorities have mostly ignored recommendations that these figures, some of whom remain in their positions, should be prosecuted.”

“As we mark the International Day of the Disappeared, we offer our support to all the victims and families of those forcibly disappeared and illegally detained by state authorities across the world,” continued Mr Shetty. “Governments in countries where enforced disappearances are occurring must come under greater pressure to stamp out this abhorrent practice.”

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