UN Urges Sri Lanka to Set Up Hybrid Court for War Crimes

3/14/2019

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called on the Sri Lankan government to establish a hybrid court to handle allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses. In its report to the UN Human Rights Council, the OHCHR highlighted the country's failure to comply with some of the commitments it has made and recommended that the government invite it to establish a country office to monitor the human rights situation. It would be tasked with providing technical assistance and giving advice on the how to implement the recommendations made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the OHCHR, and other human rights mechanisms.

The report noted that all cases of detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act needed to be reviewed, with the aim of either releasing them or bringing them quickly to trial. Bachelet said member countries should continue to accompany Sri Lankans in their accountability efforts.

Both former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and incumbent Maithripala Sirisena have rejected the idea of a hybrid court, arguing that such cases must be handled domestically.

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