In a letter to the Commissioner-General of Prisons the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has raised concerns of the rights and welfare of prison inmates as the pandemic continues.
The HRCSL in its letter dated May 6 inquired about the measures taken to keep the prisoners safe.
It has been observed that there are Covid 19 infected in prisons, and on 02.05.20121, inmates in Angunakolapelessa Prison held a protest claiming that infected persons are being brought to the Angunakolapelessa Prison. They demanded authorities to conduct PCR tests on the inmates, the Rights Commission has stated in the letter.
It has also been advised in the letter to pay special attention in this regard and to inform the HRCSL of the measures taken regarding the Covid infected inmates and to prevent the spread of the virus inside prisons, reminding that the Mahara Prison incident in November last year also took place under such a background.
Under the ‘Revised restrictions issued under Covid 19 risk Stage 3’ dated 02.05.20121 by the Health Service General, it has been informed to prevent inmates’ visits, and the HRCSL observes that reasonable action should be taken for the inmates to communicate with their relatives., the letter states.
Accordingly, the HRCSL has also notified the Prisons Department to inform the Rights Commission of the measures taken in this regard before 15.05.2021.