Prisoners’ rights group call for mechanism to grant those in remand the right to vote

17 July 2019 - 57   - 0

A Prisoners’ Rights group has written to the Justice Minister and the Elections Commission (EC) requesting for a mechanism to grant suspects in remand custody the right to vote.

The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners (CPRP), in a letter handed over today, had pointed out that a suspect is considered innocent unless proven guilty under Section 13 (5) of the constitution.

Accordingly, they claimed that these individuals should be granted the rights of an ordinary citizen.

The rights group also argued that suspects who have been remanded could be granted the right to vote under Section 89 unless they have been imprisoned after being convicted over the offences levelled against them.

“However, there has been no mechanism to allow suspects to vote during an election over the last few years,” the letter claimed

The rights group called for a mechanism to be implemented in order to grant the voting rights of suspects and assist in their rehabilitation process.

EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, told Times Online, that the matter would be put forward before the Commission for discussion.

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