US report notes limited progress, rights abuses in Sri Lanka
The annual US human rights report noted that the Sri Lankan Government has made limited progress toward establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms.
According to the report, interviews by human rights organizations found that torture remained endemic throughout the country, including for those charged with offenses under the PTA. Suspects arrested under the PTA, including since the war ended in 2009, gave accounts of torture and mistreatment, forced confessions, and denial of basic rights such as access to lawyers or family members. Several released former combatants reported torture or mistreatment, including sexual abuse by government officials while in rehabilitation centers and after their release. Excessive use of force against civilians by police and security officials also remained a problem.
The International Truth and Justice Project and the Associated Press reported allegations of abductions and torture carried out by the security sector during the year. They reported most victims were Tamil men accused by security forces of having links to the LTTE and that security forces tortured and sexually abused them after the initial abduction.
The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention and provides for the right of any person to challenge the lawfulness of his/her arrest or detention in court, but there were reports arbitrary arrest and detention occurred last year, the report found, although at a decreased rate compared with 2016.