UN Experts Panel Member Accuses SL Army Of Sexual Violence And Torture

Yasmin Sooka, a member of the UN Experts Panel which looked into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka three years ago, has now produced another report stating  "abduction, arbitrary detention, torture, rape and sexual violence have increased in the post-war period" against Tamil people by Sri Lankan security forces and there was "a prima facie case of post-war crimes against humanity by the Sri Lankan security forces, with respect to (a) torture and (b) rape and sexual violence."

UK Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) and the International Truth & Justice Project have also played a key role in producing this new report titled  'An Unfinished War- Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka 2009 -2014' which comes just a few days ahead of the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka.

The report called for an independent international inquiry at the UNHRC, and called upon the UN Security Council "to refer this report, which indicates reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity are occurring in Sri Lanka to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for further action against those who bear the greatest responsibility".

Commenting on the present state of affairs in the North, the report says  the violations "occur in a manner that indicates a coordinated, systematic plan approved by the highest levels of government."

"The cases of torture, rape and sexual violence described in this report are just a small sample of those crimes likely to have been committed against Tamils.The international community must act now otherwise such atrocities will continue to define post-conflict Sri Lanka," Yasmin Sooka said. 

Yasmin Sooka is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa. She is one of three co-authors of the April 2011 Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka done at the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, serving first for three years as Deputy Chair to the Human Rights Violations Committee and then as the chair of the committee. She authored the final report of the TRC. During 2002 and 2004 she was appointed by the UN as an international commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone. 

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