UN will soon initiate information-gathering process on Sri Lanka’s war crimes

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At the 48th session of United Nations Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that my Office’s work to implement the accountability-related aspects of Resolution 46/1 has begun, pending recruitment of a start-up team. 

“We have developed an information and evidence repository with nearly 120,000 individual items already held by the UN, and we will initiate as much information-gathering as possible this year.”

Earlier in March 2021, the Human Rights Council adopted an important resolution, 46/1, to advance accountability for past rights violations and war crimes committed in Sri Lanka.

“I urge Member States to ensure the budget process provides the necessary support so that my Office can fully implement this work. I encourage Council members to continue paying close attention to developments in Sri Lanka, and to seek credible progress in advancing reconciliation, accountability and human rights,” Michelle Bachelet said in her oral update. 

Michelle Bachelet further said that surveillance, intimidation and judicial harassment of human rights defenders, journalists and families of the disappeared has not only continued, but has broadened to a wider spectrum of students, academics, medical professionals and religious leaders critical of government policies. Several peaceful protests and commemorations have been met with excessive use of force and the arrest or detention of demonstrators in quarantine centres.

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