Special

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today presented much-anticipated report (Photo: Reuters)

UN wants special court to investigate "horrific" war crimes in Sri Lanka

Wed, 16 September 2015 09:36

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(NIDAHASA News) United National (UN) today (16) called Sri Lanka to setup a "hybrid" special court consist of international and local judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to investigate what it called “horrific” abuses committed by both sides during and after the three-decade-long civil war.

The much-anticipated United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)-mandated investigation report accuses Sri Lankan military forces of committing serious human rights violations.

"These include extensive and endemic patterns of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, abductions, unlawful arrests and arbitrary detention, torture and sexual violence committed with impunity by the Government forces," report says.

“The report reveals patterns of grave violations, indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were likely committed by both sides to the conflict,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.

UN Report commended new government's commitment to pursue accountability through a domestic process.

"However, that Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system is not yet ready or fully equipped to promptly conduct the 'independent and credible investigation' into the allegations," report says.

The 251-page report is based on eyewitness testimony, interviews with victims and witnesses, multimedia material including satellite imagery and about 3,000 written statements and submissions, as well as previously unpublished reports.

Suspects arrested and detained in Government-controlled areas, in particular Jaffna, under PTA and the Emergency Regulations have been subjected to systematic tortures, UN report claims.

Centers including CID 'Fourth Floor' had rooms that were set up with torture equipment, illustrating the premeditated and systematic nature of the use of torture by units of the Sri Lankan security forces, report says.

"The typical modus operandi involved the arbitrary arrest or abductions of individuals by security forces’ personnel, sometimes with the assistance of paramilitary group members operating in unmarked 'white vans' that were reportedly able to pass security checkpoints or enter security force bases "

Most of the people this way have often being disappeared or killings, UN report says.

Tens of thousands of Sri Lankans disappeared over the decades, including people who surrendered during the final years of the civil war, the release said.

Responding to UN report, Sri Lanka says that it recognizes the report represents a human rights investigation and not a criminal investigation.

"[Sri Lanka] will ensure that its content as well as recommendations receive due attention of the relevant authorities including the new mechanisms that are envisaged to be set up," government said in it's response.

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