People for Equality and Relief in Lanka has appealed to the government to release persons held in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. PEARL, expressed deep concern at Sri Lanka’s latest set of arrests and detentions under Prevention of Terrorism Act.
“PEARL is deeply concerned by Sri Lanka’s latest arrest and detention under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) of Subramaniyam Sivakaran, a Tamil activist and journalist from the North-East. Sivakaran was arrested in Mannar by the Terrorism Investigation Department on Wednesday, April 27. The arrest came days after he publicly criticized the PTA and the continued detention of Tamils under the Act.
Abductions and arrests of many Tamils across the North-East, although commonplace for decades, have been greatly increasing in recent weeks. The Sri Lankan state continues to deploy its notorious “White Vans” to abduct Tamils, who in some cases later turn up in police or military custody. Although the current government recognized the flawed nature of the PTA and pledged to review and repeal it, the law remains in force and security forces continue to use it to detain Tamils. The existence and application of the PTA also facilitates abuses in custody, like torture and sexual violence.” PEARL said in a statement.