Ahimsa seeks UN support to probe Lasantha killing

Ahimsa seeks UN support to probe Lasantha killing

Ahimsa seeks UN support to probe Lasantha killing

Written by Staff Writer

08 Jan, 2021 | 7:48 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The daughter of slain newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge has filed a complaint with the UN Human Rights committee seeking its assistance in probing the killing of her father.

The complaint has been filed by the US-based Centre for Justice and Accountability and a law firm on behalf of Ahimsa Wickrematunge.

The complainants point out that Sri Lanka has breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights over the killing of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge.

The daughter of the late editor argued that the attacks on her father violate five sections guaranteed in the covenant to which Sri Lanka is a party.

This includes; the Right to Life; Right to Freedom from Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Rights to Freedom of Expression and Opinion and Non-Discrimination; and Access to Effective Remedy.

The complainants pointed out that Sri Lanka cannot claim that the complaint is inadmissible for failing to exhaust domestic remedies.

They argued that Sri Lanka offers no effective domestic remedies for the relief that Ahimsa seeks in connection to the killing.

Accordingly, the complainants have requested the committee to extend its assistance in ensuring that Sri Lanka;

  1. Conducts an exhaustive, independent, and effective investigation of the attacks against Lasantha, including the prosecution of those responsible at all levels of the government
  2. Apologizes to the Wickrematunge family for violating the covenant by the attacks and failing to investigate them
  3. Gives meaningful guarantees to avoid repeating any conduct that violates the covenant
  4. Provides adequate compensation to Ahimsa and Lasantha for breaching the Covenant

The UN Human Rights Committee is a body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties.

The complainants requested the committee to prioritize the complaint as it may have an impact on the protection of the rights of journalists in Sri Lanka.

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