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Groups want justice for activist

Killer 'must be punished', religious leaders call for 'credible investigation'

Villagers look on as police exhume the body of rights campaigner Pattani Razeek Villagers look on as police exhume the body of rights campaigner Pattani Razeek
  • ucanews reporter, Colombo
  • Sri Lanka
  • August 1, 2011
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Religious leaders and the United Nations have issued calls for justice over the killing of a leading human rights campaigner.

The body of Pattani Razeek, who disappeared in February 2010, was discovered last week buried in Valachchenei, in Eastern Province.

Father Terrence Fernando, chaplain for human rights in Colombo archdiocese, said the people need a credible investigation into Razeek’s death.

“Justice must be done for Razeek,” he said.

At the time of his disappearance Razeek was the managing trustee of the Community Trust Fund and an executive committee member of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development.

Father R. Augustine from Mannar diocese described Razeek as a staunch human rights defender in Sri Lanka.

“We need to know the true circumstances surrounding his death,” said Fr. Augustine.

The UN human rights office has also urged the government to look into the case and those of more than 5,600 missing people.

Just before Razeek’s body was discovered, a rights group, the Sri Lankan Civil Society Activists, issued a statement signed by activists, bishops, priests and other religious leaders, calling on the government to launch a full and transparent investigation into Razeek’s disappearance.

“We are deeply concerned about the lack of progress regarding his [Razeek’s] disappearance as a whole, especially in view of allegations of political interference,” the statement said.

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