SRI LANKA: Calls for witness protection 

The following report appeared in the BBC Sinhala Service on February 5, 2007

No suspects arrested six months after the murder of 17 aid workers

A Paris based charity has called on Sri Lanka government to establish a witness protection programme to increase the efficiency of investigations of human rights abuses.

Action Against Hunger (AAH), whose workers were killed in Muttur in August last year, says the lack of protection for witnesses is an impediment for the murder investigation.

The killing of 17 aid workers on 06 August sparked international outrage.

Calling the murder as a “war crime” the United Nations called for an independent investigation.

In a statement issued to mark six months since the murder, the AAH says it considers “the establishment of a witness protection programme is imperative if we are to find out exactly what happened”.

The charity has expressed serious concern that no suspect has been identified and brought to justice after several months of investigation.

Absence of witness protection programme in Sri Lanka is one of the main reasons for witnesses not to have spoken out, the charity says.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : FS-006-2007
Countries : Sri Lanka,