Trincomalee relatives of detained political prisoners
The relatives of Tamil political prisoners detained under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) have held a press conference calling for the release and a presidential pardon of those detained.
Three mothers spoke at the conference and stated that their children had nothing to do with the LTTE, which is the claim lodged by the government against them. The Trincomalee youths were arrested earlier this year and last year under the PTA for allegedly posting content on social media websites. The mothers added, that the children were unaware that the armed conflict in Sri Lanka had taken place due to their age and that any posts which had been shared were 'mistakenly' done.
Earlier this year Sri Lankan police arrested a young Tamil man from Trincomalee under the PTA after he shared a photo of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on Facebook. The Sri Lankan state continues to use the notorious PTA to disproportionately target Tamils and Muslims over trumped-up changes.
TNA parliamentarian, Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, criticised the Sri Lankan government in June for arresting over 100 Tamil youngsters in the past year for allegedly “posting propaganda on social media” and demanded their immediate release.
Ahead of the GSP+ review later this year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the European Union (EU) to withdraw preferential access to its markets, until Sri Lankan complied with its commitments, such as repealing the PTA.