The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has written to the Commissioner General of Prisons requesting immediate steps to be taken to increase all security measures relating to Remandee Fathima Sadiya.
Separately the HRCSL also wrote to the IGP on custodial deaths in the country.
Following is the letter to the Commissioner General of Prisons with copies to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, NOCPCO Chairman Army Commander Lt. General Shavendra de Silva and Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena.
“The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka writes to request you to take immediate steps to increase all security measures relating to Remandee Fathima Sadiya.
“Ms. Sadiya is Zaharan Hashim’s wife. The Commission has received multiple complaints in the past 48 hours alleging that Ms. Sadiya’s life was at risk after she gave evidence at the President Commission of Inquiry on the Easter attacks. This concern has been exacerbated by reports that Sadiya has suddenly been infected by the COVID-19 virus and been removed from Welikada Prison to a treatment facility in Welikanda.
“While we are confident that your office will at all times take maximum efforts to ensure security of all remandees as required by the law, the Commission wishes to draw your immediate attention to. This complaint and urge that strong protective measures be taken to protect her life since she is under your custody. Please also reply by return post informing the Commission of Ms. Sadiya’s whereabouts and the authority temporarily in charge of her health.
“As you aware, the Commission is specially mandated under Sections 10 (b), 11 (d) and 28 (2) of HRCSL Act No.21 of 1996 to ensure the rights of those deprived of liberty including the power to investigate and inquire into complaints of violations of Fundamental Rights and to visit any place of detention to monitor the welfare of detainees.
“Please send us your observations on this matter and details of action taken in response, including preventive measures adopted on or before 13 November 2020.
“This letter is sent under power vested in the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act No.21 of 1996.”