ACHR PRESS RELEASE
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ACHR Index: PR/SLK/02/06
09 August 2006

ACHR calls for UN Investigation
into Muttur massacre in Sri Lanka

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today called upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the Muttur massacre in Sri Lanka and send investigation team of the UN Special Rapporteurs and Special Representatives of the UN Secretary General.

“Three days have passed since the Muttur massacre took place on 5 August but unfortunately there has not been any public statement from the UN Bodies including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and concerned Special Rapporteurs on the massacre of the ACF workers” stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR, in its report briefing paper, “Muttur and Qana massacres: Need for a balanced response from UN and its OHCHR”, released today.

On 5 August 2006, 17 workers from French NGO, Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) were shot dead at Muttur town allegedly by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers. The aid workers wearing ACF agency T-shirts were reportedly trapped inside their Muttur branch office residence located close to Muttur Cultural Centre. The bodies were all face downwards on the front lawn of the ACF office, seemingly lined up and shot at very close range. Out of 17 ACF workers, 16 were Tamils while one was Muslim. Four of the slain were women. Over 800 people are estimated to have been killed in Sri Lanka in low-level fighting in recent months.

“There is no difference between the Qana massacre and the Muttur massacre. The aid workers of Action Contre la Faim have been targeted because of their Tamil ethnic origin, an act of worst form of racism and they have been killed for providing humanitarian assistance to those who have been affected by the conflict.” – stated ACHR.

ACHR stated that “investigations into previous massacres by the Sri Lankan government do not evoke any confidence into the promise for an independent inquiry into the Muttur massacre”.

Asian Centre for Human Rights called for interventions from the UN Human Rights Council and urged to dispatch an international team to inquire into the Muttur massacre.

[Ends]


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