Human Rights Watch calls SL govt to announce moratorium on PTA

Human Rights Watch calls SL govt to announce moratorium on PTA

By Staff Writer

Jun 13, 2016 | 8:21 pm

Reviewing and repealing the PTA was one of the promises made by Sri Lanka to the UNHRC in September last year.Releasing a report on the PTA, the Human Rights Watch called on the Sri Lankan Government to announce a moratorium on the PTA, until it is repealed.

The Human Rights Watch said today that the Sri Lankan government should abide by National Human Rights Commission guidelines on arrest and detention, while taking urgent steps to repeal the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Asia Director for Human Rights Watch Brad Adams said:

It is encouraging that the government has taken preliminary steps to abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act, but the process is moving too slowly ”.

He added:

Until it is repealed, the government of Sri Lanka should announce a moratorium on the use of the PTA’.’

Adams further noted that as long as the PTA is in place and being used, the Sri Lankan Government will have a hard time convincing the Human Rights Council that it is keeping its commitment.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Human Rights notes that that PTA not only undermines terms of the the constitution but also disregards various instruments to which Sri Lanka is party to. and is thus bound by international law to uphold.

However, the larger challenge according to the CHR will be the political difficulties of pushing forward reconciliation when opportunistic politicians will use it as a window to whip up anti- minority hysteria as well as figuring out how best to deal with people already detained under the PTA.

While commending the steps taken by the government to enact new legislation, the CHR calls on all civil society organisations to apply pressure on the government.

A. To file cases in court against those in detention who have charged against them

B. To provide them with an opportunity for a fair and just trail, to release those in detention who do not have charges against them.

C.To grant bail to those who have been in detention for long and to file legal action in courts against them.

Brad Adams   Human Rights Watch   PTA   UNHRC