The United Nations tells the government to immediately stop the ‘Yukthiya’ operation

A United Nations expert committee has called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately suspend and review the ongoing anti-narcotics Yukthiya operation in Sri Lanka and focus on policies based on health and human rights.

This UN expert committee includes Priya Gopalan (Chair), Matthew Gillett (Vice-Chair for Communications), Miriam Estrada-Castillo and Mumba Malila of the Working Group on the Study of Arbitrary Detention

The report issued by the expert committee states that drug users have human rights and deserve to live a dignified life without facing discrimination and stigma.

The committee says it condemns the arbitrary arrest of thousands of drug offenders and the detention of hundreds of them in mandatory military-run rehabilitation centers, and reports of torture and ill-treatment during Operation ‘Justice’.

They call on the government to review the current legislation on drug offenses in line with international human rights law and standards, and to immediately end the involvement of the armed forces in drug control and treatment activities.