Government replies to the Special Rapporteur

The Government submitted its observations and comments to the UNHRC on the draft report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism on his mission to Sri Lanka from 10 – 14 July, 2017.

Responding to concerns raised by the Special Rapporteur on the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the Government said that while there was a process in place to repeal and replace the PTA to adhere to international standards, an administratively enforced moratorium on arrests under the PTA was in operation since July, 2017.

The Government said that Sri Lanka had undertaken granting the UN Sub Committee on Prevention of Torture with the recent ratification of the OPCAT which ensured unrestricted access to all information concerning the number of persons deprived of their liberty in places of detention , as well as the number of places and their locations, unrestricted access to all information referring to the treatment of those persons as well as their conditions of detention, and unrestricted access to all places of detention and their installations and facilities in accordance with the OPCAT.

Sri Lanka also agreed to grant the UN Sub Committee on Prevention of Torture the opportunity to have private interviews with the persons deprived of their liberty without witnesses, either personally or with a translator if deemed necessary, as well as with any other persons who the Subcommittee on Prevention believed may supply relevant information.

The Government will also give the UN Sub Committee on Prevention of Torture the liberty to choose the places it wants to visit and the persons it wants to interview. (OHCHR)

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