HRCSL expresses concern over prisoners’ health | Daily News


HRCSL expresses concern over prisoners’ health

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has forwarded recommendations to the Commissioner General of Prisons regarding the protection of prisoners during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The HRCSL has also written to the Chief Justice, Attorney General and the Acting Inspector General of Police on safeguarding the health of prisoners during the current health epidemic.

The HRCSL made these observations in a letter written to the Commissioner General of Prisons on March 24, 2020. 

The letter said, “Having considered all factors, our Commission wishes to make the following recommendations to the Department of Prisons (DOP), specifically to address the issue of overcrowding that is of particular concern during a health epidemic of this nature.”

HRCSL has observed that, “DOP should take urgent action, in consultation with relevant authorities, to release those who continue to remain in remand custody due to their inability to post bail in the required sum. We are pleased to learn that you are already giving attention to the matter; and DOP should take necessary steps to release under the licensing system that is permitted under the law convicted prisoners who are seriously or terminally ill, those over the age of 70 and those convicted of minor offences.”

The HRCSL also stated that the Commission fully recognizes the challenges facing the prison system, particularly at present when there is a grave threat to health.

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