Sri Lanka must ensure safety of refugees and asylum seekers – Amnesty

Amnesty International is urging the government to provide adequate security and other facilities to the refugees and asylum seekers who were forced to leave their houses in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks.

Issuing a statement today (16), Amnesty International said that amid dire conditions, the refugees lack clean and adequate sanitation facilities, proper places to sleep and access to medical attention.

“The Sri Lankan government has a responsibility to ensure that these people have their dignity restored immediately. They need security to protect them, food to eat, doctors to meet their urgent health needs, comfortable places to sleep in privacy, and clean places where men and women can safely and separately bathe and use sanitation facilities,” Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International said.

Accordingly, the refugees and asylum seekers include Ahmadi Muslims, Shi’as and Christians from Pakistan, Shi’a Hazaras from Afghanistan, as well as political refugees from Iran and Pakistan.

“These are people who have been dispossessed twice now because of their backgrounds. They had hoped to find safety in Sri Lanka after fleeing the violence of bigoted mobs in their own countries. Now, they are faced with the same fears that forced them here, unable to leave their shelters where they languish in dire conditions,” Patnaik further added.

More than 1,100 refugees and asylum seekers had to flee their Sri Lankan homes in fear of being attacked.

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