People’s Assembly complain to HRCSL on Abuse of PTA

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The People’s Assembly filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the abuse of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), in arresting and detaining anti-Government protesters and the failure of the law enforcement authorities to apprehend and prosecute the instigators and perpetrators of the attack on peaceful protesters on 9 May.

They called for an inquiry to be conducted by the HRCSL in accordance to section 14 of the Human Rights Commission Act No. 21 of 1996 into the infringement of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens due to the attack on 9 May and the use of the PTA to arrest and detain anti-Government protesters.

They emphasised on the failure of the law enforcement authorities to effectively and efficiently apprehend and prosecute the instigators and the perpetrators of the violence unleashed on peaceful protestors on 9 May 2022 in the vicinity of Temple Trees and thereafter at Galle Face followed by the use of the PTA to arrest and detain protesters.

‘’The People’s Assembly is deeply concerned about many incidents that have taken place in the country where there has been prima facie evidence of violation of fundamental rights of those aggrieved, either as a result of inaction on the part of the law enforcement authorities or by the misuse of the law to stifle peaceful protest and dissent’’ they noted.

They thereby called on the HRCSL to investigate the infringement of fundamental rights by the attack on peaceful protesters on 9 May and the infringement of fundamental rights of Wasantha Mudalige, Hashan Jeewantha and  Venerable Galwewa Siridhamma who have now been detained under 90-day Detention Orders under the PTA.

Further, they requested the HRCSL to take necessary measures to recommend that the relevant authorities prosecute those who infringed the fundamental rights of peaceful protesters on 9 May or to refer such matter to a Court of Competent Jurisdiction for due prosecution.

 In respect of the three persons now subject to Detention Orders, the People’s Assembly requested to make recommendations to relevant stakeholders, including the President and the IGP, to refrain from using the PTA in such manner and to immediately rescind the Detention Orders that have been issued.

BY Faadhila Thassim