MPs held in Sri Lanka for highlighting human rights abuses

The detention of Green Party MP Jan Logie and Australian Green Senator Lee Rhiannon in Sri Lanka today highlights the very problem they were travelling to Sri Lanka to shine a light on.

Jan Logie and Lee Rhiannon were detained for more than 2 hours and prevented from holding their scheduled press conference that would have highlighted the human rights abuses that they have found on their trip to Sri Lanka ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). They have just been released, their passports have been returned and they are travelling back to Australia and New Zealand.

“Our fact-finding trip to Sri Lanka has found that the human rights abuses that we have been hearing about are well-founded,” Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“This country should never have been given the chance to chair the CHOGM meeting while those in power at the time of gross human rights violations have been able to avoid justice, and that is more apparent to me than ever,” said Ms Logie.

“The ongoing abuses of human and legal rights are so serious that there is no way that the Commonwealth meeting should go ahead in Sri Lanka.

“During the time we were detained I felt the huge injustice of being protected because I am a foreigner and it only highlighted the experience and danger of local people trying to fight human rights abuses every day.

“One of the local women we were with had her ID card taken off her and she was extremely worried for the safety of her children.

“The people of Sri Lanka have suffered the illegal confiscation of their land, women have regularly suffered sexual abuse and other violence all without police investigation.

“I am on my way home to report on our findings.”

11/10/2013 – 00:00


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