UN expert to check on Sri Lanka human rights, counter-terrorism

ECONOMYNEXT – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben Emmerson will make an official visit to Sri Lanka next week to check on how the island complies with international human rights law.

Emmerson’s visit from 10 to 14 July is at the invitation of the government, and he will present a report with his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2018, a UN statement said.

The visit is “to gather firsthand information on initiatives in the area of counter-terrorism, and assess how they affect the promotion and protection of human rights,” it said.

“I will seek to provide assistance in the discussion of the country’s counter-terrorism policy and legal framework, as well as in the preparation and drafting of relevant legislative acts, with a view to ensuring that measures taken by the Government are in compliance with international human rights law,” he said.

During his five-day mission, Emmerson is scheduled to have meetings with representatives of the government, including the ministries responsible for foreign affairs, law and order, Southern development, justice, defence, finance, media, prison reforms, rehabilitation, and resettlement and Hindu religious affairs.

He will also meet law enforcement officials, members of parliament, members of specialised police departments, the National Police Commission and the Human Rights Commission.

He will go to places of detention to interview persons suspected or convicted of terrorist crimes.

Emmerson will also hold talks with representatives of the international community, lawyers, academics and non-governmental organizations. He will visit Colombo and spend several days in other areas of the country, including Anuradhapura and Vavuniya.
(COLOMBO, July 06, 2017)

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