Prisons Dept says it has no instructions to execute prisoners

As of Friday, 28 June, the Prisons Department had not received any documentation instructing its officers to carry out executions, a response to a Right to Information (RTI) request shows.

Journalist Malinda Seneviratne submitted an RTI application to the Prisons Department on 27 June asking the department whether it had received any communication from President Maithripala Sirisena with regard to the executions of four persons who had been sentenced to death.

Seneviratne told RepublicNext that he asked for copies of the documents and also for details as to who was to be hanged and whether the prisoners had been informed.

He also asked questions about the executioners, requesting the Prisons Department to reveal whether any executioners had been recruited and, if so, how many.

The senior journalist states in his RTI request that he believes the Department has this information or documents because President Maithripala Sirisena announced on 26 June that he had signed the death warrants for four inmates on death row.

He also requested the department to provide the information urgently as it was a matter of life and death.

Seneviratne received a reply to his request on Wednesday (3 July) rejecting his request as, according to the reply, the department could not provide information it did not have in its possession. The letter is dated 28 June.

Letter received by Journalist Malinda Seneviratne on 3 July from the Prisons Department saying that it cannot provide information about the executions because it does not have it

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