Sri Lankan human rights defenders receive death threats

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Human Rights Council

Sri Lankan human rights defenders are being intimidated and threatened for supporting calls for fresh investigations into abuses committed during the final days of the country's civil war, according to the UN Human rights office.

The threats are reported to have worsened following Thursday's adoption of a resolution by the Human Rights Council which called for credible investigations into widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Sri Lankan newspapers and other media outlets are also reported to be engaged in a campaign of intimidation, including publishing death threats against the human rights activist.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is urging the Sri Lankan government to distance itself from such acts and uphold the right of its citizens to freely engage in international debate.

Rupert Colville is the spokesperson for the UN Human rights office.

"During this Human Rights Council session, there has been an unprecedented and totally unacceptable level of threats, harassment and intimidation directed at Sri Lankan activists who had travelled to Geneva to engage in the debate, including by members of the 71-member official Sri Lankan government delegation. Intimidation and harassment of Sri Lankan civil society activists have also been reported in other locations around Geneva. On the other hand, the Sri Lankan ambassador in Geneva received an anonymous threatening letter which is being followed up by the police and UN security."

Duration 39"

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