UN Human Rights office on Sri Lanka Anti-Terrorism Bill - OHCHR
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Edited News

UN Human Rights office on Sri Lanka Anti-Terrorism Bill - OHCHR

The UN Human Rights Office is calling on the Sri Lanka authorities to substantively revise a seriously concerning anti-terrorism bill currently being debated in Parliament and ensure this marks a turning point in their approach to internal security.

 

We are concerned by the revised Anti-Terrorism Bill currently being considered in the Sri Lankan Parliament to replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act. Repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be a turning point for meaningful reform of Sri Lanka’s approach to its internal security, but this proposed law instead risks perpetuating patterns of violations from the past,” spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told the biweekly press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

 

The proposed law is substantially identical to previous drafts that were withdrawn after widespread criticism. It defines acts of “terrorism” overly broadly, restricts the scope of judicial guarantees, especially with respect to challenging the lawfulness of detention orders, and curtails the ability of the Human Rights Commission to visit places of detention, among other problematic provisions.

 

If it is passed in its current form, the Bill would grant excessive powers to the executive to restrict rights, with limited or no safeguards against abuse of such powers. It would weaken the legal grounds needed for security forces to arrest individuals without warrants. It would also still permit lengthy pre-trial detention,” Shamdasani noted.

 

We urge the authorities to meaningfully engage with civil society and other stakeholders to substantively revise the Bill and bring it fully into line with Sri Lanka’s international human rights obligations,” she said.

 

 

For more information and media requests, please contact

 

In Geneva:

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org 

Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org

Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / marta.hurtadogomez@un.org

 

 Tag and share - Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

 

 

 

 

STORY: UN Human Rights Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on Sri Lanka

TRT: 01:13

SOURCE: OHCHR/UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: English/NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 
DATELINE:  19/01/2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
 

 

SHOTLIST 

  1. Exterior shot : Palais des Nations
  2. Cut away : Briefing room
  3. SOUNDBITE (English)—Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):We are concerned by the revised Anti-Terrorism Bill currently being considered in the Sri Lankan Parliament to replace the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act. Repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be a turning point for meaningful reform of Sri Lanka’s approach to its internal security, but this proposed law instead risks perpetuating patterns of violations from the past.
  4. Cut away : Briefing room
  5. SOUNDBITE (English)—Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):If it is passed in its current form, the Bill would grant excessive powers to the executive to restrict rights, with limited or no safeguards against abuse of such powers. It would weaken the legal grounds needed for security forces to arrest individuals without warrants. It would also still permit lengthy pre-trial detention.
  6. Cut away : Briefing room
  7. SOUNDBITE (English)—Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):We urge the authorities to meaningfully engage with civil society and other stakeholders to substantively revise the Bill and bring it fully into line with Sri Lanka’s international human rights obligations.
  8. Cut away : Briefing room

 

 


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