Sri Lanka’s human rights commission proposes death penalty abolishment

Colombo, Jan 4 (IANS) The national human rights commission in Sri Lanka on Monday proposed abolishing the death penalty, officials said.

In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Human Rights Commission said it is imperative for Sri Lanka to conform to the growing global recognition that the death penalty, which seriously violates several human rights including the right to life and freedom from cruel and inhuman punishment, is an extreme and irreversible punishment and is ineffective as a deterrent to crime, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is to advise and assist the government in formulating legislation and directives and procedures in furtherance of the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, and to make recommendations to the government regarding measures which should be taken to ensure that national laws and administrative practices are in accordance with international human rights norms and standards.

Whilst appreciating that successive governments in Sri Lanka have not implemented the death penalty, the Commission notes that courts continue to impose the death penalty under several statutes which provide for the imposition of the death penalty.

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