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Mirusuvil Murder Convict Ex-Sgt. Ratnayake’s release reprehensible: AI

28 March 2020 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Amnesty International (AI) says that using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to release army sergeant Sunil Ratnayaka is reprehensible.  


Amnesty International’s Regional Director for South Asia, Biraj Patnaik said, “Where accountability is so rare for serious human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government’s arbitrary decision to release Sergeant Ratnayaka sends an extremely worrying message. It means that military perpetrators of horrific crimes, even if convicted through a court of law, will be pardoned and released”.  


The pardon comes at a time when there are public calls to ease prison crowding by releasing prisoners held for, among others, petty crimes and those who are unable to meet bail conditions, to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  


AI says it is also concerned by any further decisions along the same lines as pledged by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his election campaign. Sri Lanka is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and has an obligation to ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms have been violated have an effective 
remedy (Article 2).  


“Using the pandemic as an opportunity to release those convicted for heinous crimes is reprehensible. Victims have a right to justice and Sri Lanka has an obligation to ensure that justice is done. After many long years, the victims of the Mirusuvil massacre in 2000 finally got a semblance of justice in 2015. It is despicable to have that justice reversed through an arbitrary executive decision,”  Biraj Patnaik said. 

 

AI says it is also concerned by any further decisions along the same  lines as pledged by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his election  campaign  

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