File photo of Welikada Prions, Sri Lanka.
“Committee for the Protection of Rights of the Prisoners” in Sri Lanka has requested the International Committee of the Red Cross to immediately intervene to protect the rights of prisoners in Sri Lanka prisons in the face of a raging pandemic.
The letter says that “The unwillingness and inability of the government to take adequate measures resulted in a “prison cluster”, with more than 1000 prisoners affected by COVID-19 last year. The understandable fears of prisoners also led to tensions and violence in prisons, resulting in killing two prisoners in Anuradhapura in April 2020 and 11 prisoners in Mahara in November 2020, along with injuries to many prisoners and prison officials.
Thus, it is imperative to act immediately, to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19 in prisons and avoid violence that may again lead to injuries and killings.”
Read the letter as a PDF: CPRP to ICRC090521