AI index: ASA 37/011/2012
30 October 2012
Sri Lanka: Continuing impunity, arbitrary detentions, torture and
On Thursday 1 November, the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the human rights situation in
Sri Lanka will take place – the first such review since May 2008, when the government was
engaged in an armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in the country’s north.
Amnesty International notes the lack of progress on a number of human rights issues highlighted in
the first review four years ago, and has raised these concerns in a submission to the UPR.
While the government of Sri Lanka has defeated the LTTE, it has failed to implement commitments
to enhance human rights protections and to account for past violations.
It has yet to repeal oppressive anti-terrorism legislation which is used to justify abusive practices
including arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of expression. A lack of witness protection
laws and continued lack of independence of the National Human Rights Commission had added to
a culture of impunity for human rights violations.
Amnesty International continues to receive reports of enforced disappearances, torture and other illtreatment
in detention, which the authorities refuse to investigate. Security forces’ use of arbitrary
arrests and detentions have targeted members of armed groups, political opponents and journalists.
– Amnesty International spokespeople will be present in Geneva observing the UPR session and
are available for interviews.
– Link to Amnesty International’s submission on Sri Lanka to the UN Universal Periodic
Review, October-November 2012:
– The Sri Lanka UPR session on 1 November at 14:30 CET will be live streamed here:
– Amnesty International will put out a statement with a reaction following the review of Sri
Lanka, and take part in a civil society debriefing in Geneva on 2 November.
– On 5 November at 16:15 CET in the Press Room of Palais des Nations, Amnesty
International, Action Contre la Faim and the International Commission of Jurists will co-host a press
conference in Geneva. Dr Manoharan, whose son Ragihar was shot dead by Sri Lankan security
forces in 2006, will also be present at the press conference.
To arrange an interview or for any other information, please contact Olof Blomqvist, Amnesty
International Asia Pacific Press Officer, at olof.blomqvist at amnesty.org / + 44 207 413 5871 / +44
7904 397 956
Press Officer Asia/Pacific
Media Programme, Amnesty International – International Secretariat
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7413 5871
Mobile: +44 (0) 790 4397 956
Out of hours Press Mobile (7pm GMT – 9am GMT and weekends) +44 (0) 777 847 2126