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Amnesty International urges independent inquiry into Tamil doctors’ recanted story

July 12, 2009

Amnesty International:
Sri Lanka: Statements by detained doctors underline need for independent inquiry

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

AI Index: ASA 37/015/2009

For immediate release

9thJuly 2009

Sri Lanka: Statements by detained doctors underline need for independent inquiry

The statements made to the media by doctors detained by the Sri Lankan government for providing what it says was false information about civilian casualties during the last days of its offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) points again to the need for an independent inquiry into allegations that both parties committed war crimes, Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International raised several concerns about the credibility of the doctors’ recent comments, including:

  • the doctors’ ongoing detention without access to lawyers and their vulnerability to torture and ill-treatment and pressure from the Sri Lankan government, which has a record of mistreatment of detainees and witnesses;

  • the contradiction between the doctors’ statements and independently verified facts;

  • the two-month long period between the doctors’ departure from LTTE-held areas and their recent ‘recanting’ of their earlier statements.

Read full report here.

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