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UN Officials Urge Sri Lanka to Halt and Reassess ‘Yukthiya’ Anti-Drug Campaign

UN Officials Urge Sri Lanka to Halt and Reassess ‘Yukthiya’ Anti-Drug Campaign

UN experts have expressed serious concerns about Sri Lanka's heavy-handed approach to drug control, particularly focusing on Operation 'Yukthiya'. Th

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UN experts have expressed serious concerns about Sri Lanka’s heavy-handed approach to drug control, particularly focusing on Operation ‘Yukthiya’. They criticized the operation for its security-driven methods, including arbitrary arrests of drug offenders, mainly from marginalized groups, and the use of compulsory military-run rehabilitation centers, where torture and ill-treatment have been reported.

The experts emphasized the need to respect the human rights of drug users, advocating for their treatment with dignity and without discrimination or stigmatization. They recommended that rehabilitation should be voluntary, evidence-based, and respect the autonomy and informed consent of drug users.

The UN experts have urged the Sri Lankan government to immediately close compulsory rehabilitation centers, investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and ensure due process and fair trial rights. They also called for a review of the country’s legislation on drug offenses, suggesting the elimination of armed forces’ involvement in drug control and treatment, in line with international human rights standards.

This stance comes after the experts’ previous communications with the Sri Lankan government, expressing concerns about the treatment of suspected drug offenders. The UN experts, part of the Human Rights Council’s Special Procedures, work independently and voluntarily, focusing on both specific country situations and thematic global issues.

more info: https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/01/un-experts-call-sri-lanka-immediately-suspend-and-review-yukthiya-anti-drug

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