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Commission issues guidelines on hate speech law

Graphic: Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama

The Commission's Chairperson said hate speech has become a common phenomenon in the country targeting various groups.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has provided guidelines to the Attorney General and the Acting Inspector General of Police on the application of the country's law on hate speech.

Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama said in a letter that section 3 of the ICCPR Act is an important legal tool for combating hate speech.

"As we are aware, hate speech has unfortunately become a common phenomenon in the country targeting various groups," Dr Udagama said.

"However, the Commission observes that the enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act has not been done in a consistent and an even-handed manner, and sees the need for greater clarity on the legal scope of the offence recognized by the said provision."

Dr Udagama said the Commission's analysis and recommendations were finalised after consulting legal practitioners in the field of fundamental rights.

"The Commission has recommended to the Police that the guidelines the HRCSL has issued are taken into consideration by the Police Department for the fair and effective enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act," she wrote.

Date: 23 September 2019

Source: Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka


Image credits

  1. Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama - APF