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Sunday July 25th, 2021
Human Rights

Duminda’s release typical of Sri Lanka’s arbitrary pardons that weaken rule of law: OHCHR

ECONOMYNEXT – The presidential pardon granted to former Sri Lanka MP and murder convict Duminda Silva is typical of arbitrary pardoning that serves to weaken the rule of law, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

“Presidential pardon of Duminda Silva, a former MP convicted of the murder of a fellow politician, is another example of selective, arbitrary granting of pardons that weakens rule of law and undermines accountability,” the OHCHR tweeted June 24 evening, hours after Silva was released from prison.

The former MP was released in addition to 93 prisoners including 16 ex-Tamil Tiger combatants who were also pardoned by the president.

Silva, along with two others, was sentenced to death over the murder of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra in 2011. His release from prison had been long speculated, though no such move had been initiated since the change of government in 2019, until now

Related: Former Sri Lanka MP and murder convinct Duminda Silva out on presidential pardon

The circumstances of his pardon has been questioned by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. If any one of a number of considerations were not satisfied his release, the BASL said June 24 afternoon, the presidential pardon granted to him would be unreasonable and arbitrary.

Related: Former Sri Lanka MP and murder convinct Duminda Silva out on presidential pardon

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