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RTI request asks for details of those facing death penalty

Sri Lankans may get to know who is awaiting the death penalty in the country’s prisons on Tuesday if the Right to Information Commission rules in favor of an RTI request submitted by the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA).

An RTI request asking the Justice Ministry and the Prisons Department to release a host of information with regard to those facing the death penalty was submitted by CPA several months ago.

This includes the names of the people on death row, their case numbers and on what grounds they received the sentence, a CPA spokesperson told RepublicNext.

The request was rejected by the Ministry. The CPA then appealed to the Commission to compel the Ministry and the Department to comply with the request.

However when President Maithripala Sirisena announced at a press conference on June 26 that he had signed the death warrants for four people on death row the matter became urgent.

CPA resubmitted the appeal to the appeal to the RTI Commission hours after Sirisena’s announcement stating that this should now be considered urgently as it as it is a matter of life and death.

The RTI Commissioners have asked the Justice Ministry and the Prisons Department to release the information to them so that they can rule whether the details can be made public or not.  

The RTI Commission is due to announce its decision on Tuesday.

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