Sri Lanka: Major human rights concerns raised as Sri Lanka is reviewed by UN Human Rights Committee

Overview 112th Session – Sri Lanka

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Enforced disappearances of journalists and human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, use of torture and extra-judicial killings committed by the authorities were some of the issues raised during of the ICCPR review of Sri Lanka by the Human Rights Committee. The legacy of the internal armed conflict with the LTTE formed a continuous thread throughout the review, as discriminations against ethnic and religious minorities were raised, the situation of displaced people, as well as restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

The Committee stressed the problematic separation of powers and the lack of independence of the judiciary. Other issues included the risk of reprisals that journalists and human rights defenders might face as well as discrimination against women, and LGBT persons. Finally, the Committee regretted the lack of cooperation of the Sri Lankan government in implementing Committee views on individual complaints.

The Sri Lanka delegation firmly rejected most of the concerns raised by the Committee, insisting that no censorship takes place in the country and that judicial remedies for complainants are available. However, it was quite telling that several human rights defenders who had participated in the formal NGO briefing with Committee members did not turn up in the formal review for fear of reprisals.

The Concluding Observations for which the State should provide information on the implementation within one year, concerning:

  • Constitutional, legal framework and independence of judiciary
  • Right to life
  • Enforced disappearances
  • Freedom of expression and participation in the political process

The review of Malta’s 2nd periodic report by the Human Rights Committee took place on the 13th and 14th of October 2014. For a comprehensive overview of the discussion, see the proceedings on the OHCHR website or the webcast of the session.

The next periodic report should be submitted by the State party on 31st October 2017.

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/3/Rev.10

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CCPR NGO Participation

Documents adopted by the Human Rights Committee (March 2012)

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CCPR NHRI Participation

Documents adopted by the Human Rights Committee (November 2012)

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