An announcement from the U.N. Human Rights Office on Operation “Yukthiya”.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed its concern about the “Yukthiya” operation to combat drug trafficking in Sri Lanka.

“Although drug use is a serious challenge to society, a strict law enforcement approach is not the solution. Drug abuse and the factors that lead to it are primarily public health and social issues. “People suspected of selling or trafficking drugs are entitled to humane treatment and fair trials with full respect and transparency for due process,” the statement issued by the office said.

Since December 17, 29,000 people have been arrested in connection with drug-related matters, and some have been accused of ill-treatment and torture, the statement added.

It says security forces have reportedly carried out raids without search warrants and sent hundreds of suspected drug dealers and users to military-run rehabilitation centers.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk urges the Sri Lankan government to review the ongoing “Yukthiya” operation and implement human rights-based approaches, especially the right to health, in solving the problem of illegal drugs in society.