Human Rights Watch Urges Sri Lanka To Have Foreign Judges In War Crime Investigations

Human Rights Watch Urges Sri Lanka To Have Foreign Judges In War Crime Investigations
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Human Rights Watch Australia’s Director Elaine Pearson has stated that Sri Lanka must employ international judges and prosecutors to ensure accountability during trials of those responsible for alleged war crimes against humanity during the country’s civil war.

Ms. Pearson told SBS News she was concerned that work towards ensuring the international component of the justice process remained to be seen.

“Despite having agreed to the resolution, there has been a lack of progress on the international component…on establishing accountability,” she said.

Ms. Pearson’s call, which echoes a recommendation in the 2015 UN Human Rights Council report of the OHCHR investigation of Sri Lanka, comes as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Australia this week.

On Wednesday, he beckoned asylum seekers who fled to Australia to return, assuring they would be “quite safe”.

“They can come back to Sri Lanka and we will help them… but remember, they broke the law by attempting to come to Australia,” he said. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in 2015

“Our investigation has laid bare the horrific level of violations and abuses that occurred in Sri Lanka, including indiscriminate shelling, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, harrowing accounts of torture and sexual violence, recruitment of children and other grave crimes.”

Both the Sri Lankan Government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were likely to have committed the abuses, the investigation found. The investigation recommended Sri Lanka bring to trial those responsible for alleged war crimes in a court that was both domestic and international.

 

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