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UK parliamentarians discuss concerns over torture in Sri Lanka

A debate took place in parliament earlier this month, where members raised concerns over torture and the treatment of asylum claims, highlighting Sri Lanka as cause of “exceptional concern”.

MPs from the Conservative party, Labour party and Scottish National Party all mentioned Sri Lanka in their addresses to parliament, with Gareth Thomas noting that for Freedom From Torture, “Sri Lanka remains its top country both for those receiving therapy and for medico-legal reports on torture in custody”.

“That reflects a trend that it has seen over several years,” he added. “How we treat the asylum cases of people from Sri Lanka who make allegations of torture is surely one of the key tests for how the Minister and the Home Office more generally handle asylum cases involving torture.”

He went on to quote Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on torture in Sri Lanka, with Dr Tania Mathias saying the situation on the island is of “exceptional concern”.

”Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and indeed the Foreign Office’s most recent human rights report all state that concerns about human rights abuses in Sri Lanka remain," added Mr Thomas, questioning support to grant Sri Lanka trade concessions through the GSP plus by the European Union.

See the full text of the parliamentary debate here.