Attacks on Christians and Muslims in Sri Lanka on the Rise

ICC Note: Amnesty International reports that Sri Lanka saw a rise in attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities in 2017—specifically, attacks perpetrated by radical Buddhist nationalists. The report also noted attacks and threats on religious minorities by the governments of South Asian nations. 

02/25/2018 Sri Lanka (Colombo Gazette) – Sri Lanka has been listed among countries unsafe for Muslims in a newly released world report.

In the report, Amnesty International notes that Sri Lanka saw a rise in Buddhist nationalist sentiment last year, including attacks against Christians and Muslims.

In September, a group of hardline Buddhist monks attacked the homes of Rohingya refugees in Boosa, southern Sri Lanka. In November, dozens of home and businesses of Muslims were attacked near the southern city of Galle.

The State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 by Amnesty International notes that in South Asia, governments invoked law and order, national security and religion as they engaged in attacks against religious minorities, criminalized freedom of expression and subjected civil society to a campaign of intimidation, threats, smears and violence.

“Over the past year, the region was marked by assaults on civil society. Journalists, bloggers, activists and others human rights defenders have been vilified and subjected to threats and violence. Meanwhile, online, invasive new cybercrime legislation has been used to criminalize freedom of expression and subject people to unlawful surveillance,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.

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