GENEVA (18 October 2023) – Sri Lanka’s new proposed counter-terrorism legislation does not go far enough to remedy the defects of the country’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), UN experts* said today, urging the Government to ensure the new law meets international human rights standards.
“For many years, UN experts and multilateral organizations have consistently said that the current Prevention of Terrorism legislation in Sri Lanka violates international law with its vague terminology, its lack of protection for fundamental human rights, and a lack of independent oversight,” the experts said. “Regrettably, the proposed legislation does not remedy any of these defects,” they said.
The proposed counter-terrorism bill is currently under consideration in the Sri Lankan Parliament. It is intended to replace the country’s existing Prevention of Terrorism Act, which has long been plagued by structural elements that enable the perpetration of torture, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and other human rights violations.