MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
8.6.2021 - (2021/2748(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure
Dominique Bilde, Maximilian Krah, Jaak Madison
on behalf of the ID Group
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The European Parliament,
- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,
- having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984,
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966,
- having regard to the United Nations ("UN") Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners,
- having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas on 21 April 2019 terrorists inspired by the Islamic State carried out a series of attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, killing more than 260 people (the "Easter attacks"), and whereas the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alleged to have publicly praised the Easter attacks, which revealed shortcomings in Sri Lanka's counter-terrorism strategy, leading among other things to the adoption of an amendment on mutual assistance in terrorism in 2018;
B. whereas, in the context of the armed conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) movement between 1983 and 2009, the 1979 Prevention of Terrorism Act No 48 of 1979 ("PTA") was criticised for its provisions concerning, inter alia, confessions obtained under duress or torture, and whereas a draft Counter-Terrorism Act ("CTA"), approved by the Council of Ministers on 11 September 2018, is also criticized for similar reasons, although the first version of the schedule pertaining to the designated terrorist organisations was said to name three domestic terrorist organisations, all of which are suspected to be linked to the Easter bombings;
1. Is alarmed by the conclusions of the UN Human Rights Council report of 14 December 2018 regarding torture, welcomes the Sri Lankan government's "zero tolerance" commitment regarding torture in 2016, urges the Sri Lankan authorities to crack down on such unlawful acts and to reach a proper balance between the protection of fundamental rights and the exceptional measures that are essential in the fight against terrorism;
2. Is alarmed at the slow pace of judicial proceedings in relation to the Easter attacks despite numerous arrests, and urges the Sri Lankan authorities to take the necessary steps in this regard ;
3. Welcomes the efforts made by Sri Lanka, which have led to its removal from the Financial Action Task Force's "grey list" on terrorist financing and money laundering in October 2019, and encourages the Sri Lankan authorities to step up their efforts in this area ;
4. Welcomes Sri Lanka's counter-terrorism efforts following the Easter attacks, including the establishment of a dedicated violent extremism section within the Ministry of Defence;
5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Sri Lankan authorities.