Perpetrators of communal violence to be charged under ICCPR: Sri Lankan PM

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the police to charge perpetrators of communal violence in the country on May 12 and 13 under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act.

An offence under the ICCPR Act is non-bailable. A person found guilty of an offence under the Act can be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a maximum term of ten years, reported Colombo Page.

The police arrested 14 persons in connection with incidents in Minuwangoda town and nine of them were remanded until May 29 after being produced before a court. The remaining five persons are due to be produced.

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Over 60 persons were arrested in connection with the acts in the northwestern province for their alleged involvement in violent acts and curfew violation.

The Prime Minister’s office announced yesterday that the situation in the country has been brought under control by the police and security forces.

Clashes had broken out on Sunday between members of Christian and Muslim communities after mobs threw stones at mosques and Muslim-owned stores in Chillaw town. Following this, the police had a imposed a curfew in the region and the government had blocked various social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook and Youtube, to prevent the circulation of rumours in the aftermath of violence.

Tensions are brewing in the island nation since April 21, when eight coordinated bombings left at least 250 people dead and scores of others injured amid Easter celebrations.


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