Sri Lanka: Release of Mr. Ruki Fernando and Rev. Praveen Mahesan

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The two human rights defenders, detained for three days without access to legal counsel, were finally released without charges on March 19.
FIDH and other organisations raised the issue of their detention at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Sri Lankan representative promptly issued a statement accusing the two human rights defenders of “terrorist connections” with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).
Harassment, public vilification by state-run papers and false accusations of terrorist connections are habitual for Sri Lanka’s human rights defenders, particularly following their participation to UN Human Rights Council sessions and in response to resolutions on Sri Lanka adopted by the Council.
FIDH remains deeply concerned about the ongoing detention of Ms. Balendran Jeyakumari, a campaigner against enforced disappearances.

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