New directives issued when arresting under the PTA

jailThe Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued directives to be followed by designated officials arresting persons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The directives are being issued to ensure the fundamental rights of persons arrested or detained are respected and protected, and such persons are treated humanely.

The directives are based on the directives on arrest and detention issued by previous heads of state and binding international human rights law standards.

Under the directive, no person can be arrested or detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act No. 48 of 1979 except in accordance with the law and proper procedure, and by a person who is authorized by law to make such an arrest or order such detention

The person making the arrest should identify himself/herself by name and rank and show identification to the person being arrested or a relative or friend of such person; every person arrested shall be informed of the reason for the arrest and the person making the arrest or detention should issue to the spouse, parents, or relations, an arrest receipt acknowledging the fact of arrest.

The name and rank of the arresting officer, the time and date of arrest, and the place at which the person will be detained should also be specified. The receipt should be attested by the person to whom the receipt is issued, and be counter signed by the arrestee, whose name, address, identity card no and reason for arrest should also be stated in the receipt.

The receipt should be issued in the language that the arrested person ordinarily uses. The arrested or detained person should also be allowed to communicate with a family member, relative or friend to inform of his whereabouts if person is arrested when not in presence of family or relatives. (Colombo Gazette)

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