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Criminal Investigations Need Monitoring

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ASIA/SRI LANKA: UN human rights monitoring urgently needed to resuscitate criminal investigations

The Asian Human Rights Commission strongly supports the call for a human rights monitoring mission by the United Nations as a measure to resuscitate the severely damaged criminal investigation capacity of the Sri Lankan policing system.

The state, as the sovereign, owes an obligation to investigate into all crimes irrespective as to whether these are done by organised criminal gangs, terrorists or state agencies themselves. This obligation implies that there needs to be a competent and impartial criminal investigation branch within the policing system which has not been corrupted or impaired by political interference. There is consensus within Sri Lanka that the capacity of the police investigation system has been gravely diminished due to political interference over several years and that its internal capacity for investigations has become extremely limited. When it comes to organised crimes, acts of terrorists and also extrajudicial acts of the military and the police, the police investigation system has not demonstrated any capacity for effective investigations in recent years.

The inability to ensure effective criminal investigations is a fundamental failure of the state in ensuring security to its people. This situation needs to be cured immediately. A United Nations human rights monitoring body can assist the revival of this system and without such assistance there is no predictable way of how such a revival might happen.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reiterated her call for human rights monitoring in her statement to the Human Rights Council on December 10th 2007.

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January 24, 2008 - Posted by | Press Release

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