Sri Lanka releases information on thousands detained since civil war

The Sri Lanka Police on May 13 released the names of thousands of people being held under that country’s anti-terror laws. The release comes three years after the end of the country’s 26-year civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The announcement is the first release of this type of information by the Sri Lankan government. This information release is likely in response to continued calls from the international community to address human rights concerns in the country. In March the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) urged the government of Sri Lanka to adequately investigate alleged war crimes that occurred during the civil war.

The Sri Lankan government has faced various allegations of human rights violations and war crimes by civil rights organizations and the UN since the end of its civil war in 2009. In November the Sri Lankan government was subjected to criticism for its failure to investigate issues of torture for past human rights violations and to enforce laws against continued torture and ill-treatment by government officials against civilians. In April 2011 a UN panel of experts on Sri Lanka found credible allegations of war crimes committed during the country’s war with the LTTE, warranting further investigation. In June 2010 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for an international inquiry into the conduct of the Sri Lankan government during its civil war.

From Jurist, May 13. Used with permission.

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