Amnesty International’s written statement to the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (13 – 30 September 2016)
Public consultations, the bedrock on which Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process must be built, are underway. However, implementation has been undermined by lack of government resources, including to publicise the process nationally to all affected communities and provide effective protection mechanisms so that victims and their families can participate in safety and confidence. These flaws must be addressed without delay…
To support continued progress, the United Nations system and Member States should:
• Provide Sri Lanka with technical assistance and financial support for justice, truth and reparation mechanisms that meet international standards; legal reform and other steps to ensure non-recurrence.
• Emphasise the rights of victims to effective remedies, in particular effective access for women to justice, truth and reparation, as well as guarantees of non-recurrence that address underlying causes of gender and other discrimination.
• Insist that all mechanisms created coordinate and share information to ensure the effective delivery of justice, truth, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
• Assist Sri Lankan authorities to establish an independent and effective system of victim and witness protection in line with international standards.
• Enter into agreements with Sri Lanka to relocate to their countries victims and witnesses who face serious risk due to their engagement with the justice, truth or reparation mechanisms.
• Assist Sri Lanka to develop a rigorous human rights vetting program for law enforcement agencies and the military for domestic purposes, and ensure the vetting of all Sri Lankan personnel provided to UN peacekeeping operations, training or exchange programs.
• Provide cooperation and mutual legal assistance to support efforts to prosecute persons suspected of crimes under international law or other serious human rights violations, subject to fair trial safeguards and precluding the imposition of the death penalty.