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UN Working Group on Arbitrary detention asks for reform of excesive use of preventive prison in Sri Lanka

16 December 2017 - 68   - 0

 The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, visiting Sri Lanka, today requested reforms to address the excessive use of pretrial detention and update the current legal framework.

The delegation of that international organization declared in a statement that it visited prisons, police stations, institutions for minors, migrants and people with psychosocial disabilities, to assess their conditions.

While recognizing Colombo's participation in United Nations human rights mechanisms, and its adherence to the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture, they called for urgent action to comply with the government's commitments in its National Action Plan for Human Rights 2017 -2021.

The right to personal freedom is still not respected by law enforcement, security, judicial and other authorities, expressed the experts in the statement.

The note added that the judicial proceedings were affected by excessive and unjustified delays, the suspects remained detained indefinitely, while the rights to the presumption of innocence are not fully recognized.

The UN delegation also called for the abolition of laws and special powers enacted during the state of emergency, which includes the Terrorism Prevention Act of 1979, one of the key enabling of arbitrary detention for more than four decades.

It also paid attention to the deprivation of liberty of persons in situations of vulnerability, such as children, women, the elderly, the disabled and the poor.

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