WORLD/SRI LANKA: Death threats issues to three human rights activists

Today, on 7th January 2015, three human rights activists have received death threats over telephone from sources that have refused to identify themselves, but have appeared to be connected with security authorities.

The human rights activists who received these death threats are Mr. Brito Fernando, Mr. Phillip Dissanayake and Mr. Prasanga Fernando – all of whom work with the Right to Life organization and the organization of the families of the disappeared in Sri Lanka.

They have also been in the recent past taking part and actively campaigning for the common opposition candidate in the presidential election of Maithripala Sirisena on the basis that massive human rights violations have taken place and are taking place in Sri Lanka and that these need to be stopped.

Brito Fernando and Prasanga Fernando have also received threats by way of hanging freshly killed dogs’ heads in their homes earlier this week.

One such death threat has been recorded and is also produced as part of this Statement.

During the conversation the speaker says that ‘he has already spoken to Brito Fernando and has already told him what “they” intend to do’. He further says that “we know all the details about you, your wifes and about your children; … and we know where they travel and where they can be found. We also know where your children go to school. We will teach you a lesson first, before we deal with your big people… before we do that we will get all the details from you about what you do… you have been involved in some matters relating to the Anuradhapura Police. We know all about that. We know how to get information from you once we get hold of you. It is after obtaining this information that we will finally deal with you… make your funeral arrangements at your homes.

Details relating to the earlier threats have been published in several media channels and you may find the details at the following link.

The Asian Human Rights Commission condemns these dastard, coward, and mean acts of issuing death threats and we are also warning the public that carrying out of such death threats could actually take place in this environment of the upcoming presidential elections on 8th January 2015.

We ask the Government of Sri Lanka and the Inspector General of Police to investigate into this matter with immediate effect and we will also inform all human rights organizations in Sri Lanka and overseas about these threats.

We will also inform all the Embassies in Sri Lanka and the United Nation’s about these threats.

We ask President Mahinda Rajapaksa to immediately take appropriate action to find the culprits and apprehend them. In the event no such action is taken it may appear that such death threats are being made with President Rajapaksa’s direct or indirect approval.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-005-2015
Countries : World,
Issues : Human rights defenders, Inhuman & degrading treatment,