‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’ to be amended ahead of UNHRC

‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’ to be amended ahead of UNHRC

‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’ to be amended ahead of UNHRC

Written by Staff Writer

28 Jan, 2022 | 1:31 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Sri Lankan Government has gazetted a bill with amendments to the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act ahead of the UNHRC sessions in Geneva.

The bill titled Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Amendment Bill proposes a number of amendments to ensure that the legislation is in line with international standards and best practices.

According to the amendment, a suspect will be allowed to apply to the supreme court on grounds of violation of their fundamental rights and seek relief.

The amendment also proposes to allow for Attorneys at law to have access to the person in custody and also allow relatives to communicate with the detainee.

The bill proposes to reduce the total period of detention permitted under the act from 18 months to 12 months.

The bill includes an amendment to allow a magistrate to visit the place of detention of the suspect to ensure that the suspect is protected from torture or any degrading treatment.

The bill also includes provisions to allow a suspect to be produced before a judicial medical officer to ensure that such a person has not been subjected to torture.

The bill also enables the courts to conduct day-to-day trials to expedite the proceedings in the case.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act was introduced in 1979 mainly in response to the CIvil war at the time.

The bill appeared in the gazette against a backdrop where the next United Nations Human Rights Council Session in March.

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