US urged to reengage with UNHRC on Sri Lanka issue

The United States has been urged to reengage with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the Sri Lanka issue.

Amnesty International USA’s National Director of Advocacy and Government Relations Joanne Lin had submitted a written testimony ahead of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing on “International Human Rights and Closing Civic Space”.

In the written statement, Amnesty International noted that the US Goverment should reengage with the UN Human Rights Council, with particular attention to the upcoming session on Sri Lanka (Feb. 22 to Mar. 19).

Amnesty International said the US Government must reiterate to the Sri Lankan Government the importance of upholding human rights, including by attending court hearings in key cases such as the Trinco Five students, Prageeth Eknaligoda, Ramzy Razeek, and Shakthika Sathkumara.

The human rights group said that the US Government should urge the Sri Lankan Government to drop all charges pending against Ramzy Razeek, release lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and ensure that the families of the disappeared, the activists campaigning with them, and lawyers acting on their behalf are protected.

Amnesty called on Congress to substantially increase civil society assistance for human rights groups that are working on truth and reconciliation issues and protecting human rights defenders. (Colombo Gazette)

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