Sri Lanka Muslims face threats, attacks: HRW

Sri Lanka Muslims face threats, attacks: HRW

Authorities in Sri Lanka should end arbitrary arrests andother abuses against Muslims and protect the community from violence, HumanRights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

Since the Easter Sunday bombings in April 2019 that killedover 250 people, which was claimed by militants, Sri Lankan Muslims have facedan upsurge in violations of their basic rights and assaults and other abusesfrom Buddhist nationalists, the rights body said.

Sri Lankan officials and politicians should stop endorsing,ignoring or exploiting hate speech and mob violence directed at Muslims bymembers of the Buddhist clergy and other powerful figures, it said.

"The Sri Lankan government has a duty to protect itscitizens and prosecute those responsible for the terrible Easter Sundaybombings, but it shouldn't be punishing the Muslim community for thiscrime," it said.

"It's crucial for the authorities to act swiftly tostop mob violence, threats, and discrimination against Muslims."

In June 2019, Human Rights Watch interviewed Muslim victimsof abuses, activists, lawyers and officials to document abuses against Muslims,often with state complicity.

Since the bombings, the authorities have arbitrarilyarrested and detained hundreds of people under counterterrorism and emergencylaws, Human Rights Watch said.

The situation has caused mounting international alarm forthe safety of Muslims and other minorities.

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