In a letter to President Rajapaksa, the chairperson of the Committee for Protectin Prisoners Rights, (CPRP) Attorney at Law Sanaka Perera has requested to direct all prisoners and Prison staffers for PCR testing instead of adopting a random selection process.
The letter in full:
Dear Honorable President,
REQUEST TO DIRECT ALL THE PRISONERS FOR THE CONDUCT PCR TESTS
The COVID-19 pandemic is at this moment, spreading fast within the prison system. Although, we on 2020/03/16 presented to you an epistle containing proposals that should be implemented in order to control the spread of COVID-19 within prisons, we see that no adequate intervention has been made in this regard.
We would remind you at this juncture that the reason for the opposition that arose subsequent to the killing of two prisoners in Anuradhapura Prison on 2020/03/21 and the prisoner’s opposition at the Bogambara Prison on 2020/11/12 was there not being an adequate program to protect prisoners lives from COVID-19.
It has become difficult to implement the health advice given with regard to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 owing to the heavy congestion within prisons. Also, owing to the fact that there are minimal sanitation facilities such as toilets available for the use by a large number of prisoners, it is evident that the environment within prisons is one that is extremely conducive for the spread of COVID-19 within prisons.
Therefore, we request you to direct all prisoners and Prison staffers for PCR testing instead of adopting a random selection process and to also take into consideration the proposals put forward to you by us, and to thereby take necessary steps to make prisons COVID-19 free zones.
Attorney -At- Law
1. The State Minister of Prison Reforms and Prisoners Rehabilitation.
2. The Commissioner General of Prisons.
3. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.