The ‘Yukthiya’ Operation – Press Notice No: HRC/P/i/E/08/01/24
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka expresses its concern with respect to the ‘Yukthiya’ Operation implemented by Sri Lanka Police and the Ministry of Public Security. It notes that the Ministry is reported to have announced that over 20,000 suspects have been arrested under the operation in just two weeks, i.e., 17 December to 31 December 2023.
The stated objective of the operation is to combat drug trafficking and organised crime. The Commission acknowledges that preventing organised crime and the trafficking of dangerous narcotics is an important objective. However, the Commission has received a number of complaints concerning torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and arbitrary arrests and detention associated with the ‘Yukithiya’ Operation. We also note the recent statement of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka raising serious concerns with respect to the said operation. The operation has accordingly become associated with reports of widespread injustice, making its very title ‘Yukthiya’ (the Sinhala term for ‘justice’) a misnomer.
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