UN official warns Sri Lanka over reprisals

March 24th, 2012 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 24 (IANS) A UN human rights official has warned Sri Lanka against possible attacks on its rights activists after a UN body passed a resolution decrying rights violations in the island.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said there must be no reprisals in Sri Lanka in the wake of Thursday’s Human Rights Council meet in Geneva.

During the session, “there has been an unprecedented and totally unacceptable level of threats, harassment and intimidation directed at Sri Lankan activists”, she said.

Intimidation and harassment of Sri Lankan civil society activists were also reported in other locations, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

It said newspapers, news web sites and TV and radio stations in Sri Lanka had since January been running a campaign of vilification including naming and in many cases picturing activists.

They were repeatedly accused of treason, mercenary activities and association with terrorism.

Some of these reports have contained barely veiled incitement and threats of retaliation, the media quoted the statement as saying.

Pillay, a South African of Indian origin, urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure the protection of human rights defenders.

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