Request to Judiciary to fast track cases
By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody
A request has been made to the Judiciary to fast-track and bring to a speedy close all cases of those persons who are under the age of 18 and held in probation centres, persons who are falsely charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Emergency Regulations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act and are currently released on bail, persons in prolonged detention without charges, and persons who have spent five to 10 years in prison prior to being sentenced.
This was recommended in the report ‘PTA: Terrorising Sri Lanka for 42 years - Socio-economic and psychological impact on families of PTA detainees following the Easter Sunday attacks’ authored by Marisa de Silva and published by the Law and Society Trust.
A request was made for Courts to order proportionate payment of compensation (also taking into consideration reimbursement for the expenses already incurred by detainees) by the State, to all those who have been falsely charged, discharged of all charges after multiple years in prison and detention, subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment, and forced confessions. It was recommended to authorise and permit regular prison visits by family members, including to probation and detention centres, and to ensure as far as possible that prisoners are held in prisons closest to their homes, so as to minimise the time and funds that families incur on travel while also enabling access to Court hearings for families.