Sri Lanka: Ensure justice in the death of Pattani Razeek
29 July 2011 9:33 am
(Bangkok, 29 July 2011) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is deeply saddened by the news of the discovery yesterday of a body believed to be that of disappeared Sri Lankan human rights defender, Mr Pattani Razeek.
Police found the body in Kavathamunai, Oddamavadi, Valaichenai province after being led to the site by Mr Ismail Mohamed Musdeen, one of the arrested suspects in Mr Razeek’s disappearance.
The discovery of the body is a bitter closure to the disappearance since 11 February 2010 of Mr Razeek. His son has tentatively identified the remains which were sent to Batticaloa Hospital for forensic examination. His remains will be released to the family afterwards.
FORUM-ASIA expresses its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at the Community Trust Fund (CTF) in Sri Lanka. Mr Razeek, 55, was Executive Committee member of FORUM-ASIA and Managing Trustee of CTF.
FORUM-ASIA appreciates the recent progress and attention Mr. Razeek’s case is receiving now from the Sri Lankan authorities, with the arrest of key suspects and recovery of what is believed to be his remains. In support of Sri Lankan civil society efforts to expedite investigation of the case, FORUM-ASIA sent a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka in May 2011, and issued statements in this regard. We hope that the momentum for a thorough investigation and trial to the case will continue expeditiously until full justice is served.
In particular, the alleged involvement of high government officials in the case must be brought to full light. The suspects in the case, Mr Musdeen and Mr Shahabeen Noushadh were arrested only in July 2011, despite having been identified earlier through police investigations. Mr Razeek’s family believes that police failed to arrest them earlier due to their claimed close association with government ministers Rishard Bathiudeen and Ameer Ali. More seriously, the use of ministry vehicles and political interference related to the case must be probed thoroughly.
Only by bringing justice to the abduction and death of Mr. Razeek can give full closure to the case.
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