COLOMBO (News 1st) – Amnesty International South Asia has raised concerns over the violence that broke out in Maradana on Friday (03).
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a group of peaceful protesters staging a Satyagraha on the eve of the 75th Independence Day celebrations in Sri Lanka.
Amnesty International South Asia stressed that “the use of excessive force in this instance must be promptly and impartially investigated and relevant officers held accountable.”
In a series of Tweets, Amnesty International South Asia highlighted that “not for the first time, Sri Lanka Police used unnecessary and unlawful force against peaceful protesters, in total violation of the people’s right to peaceful assembly.”
It added, “Footage seen by Amnesty shows the police using tear gas, and water canons at high pressure to disperse peaceful protesters. Further, the police is seen using batons punitively when conducting arrests.”
The human rights group was also “alarmed to hear that lawyers were denied access to those arrested in contravention of due process safeguards guaranteed under international law”, adding that the “authorities must at all times protect the right to peaceful protest, and respect due process rights.”