AFAD Open Letter to Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa to expedite investigation on Razeek case
8 August 2011
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE
Office of the President,
Temple Trees, 150, Galle Road,
Colombo 3, Sri Lanka
His Excellency President Rajapakse,
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) is a regional federation of human rights organizations working directly on the issue of enforced or involuntary disappearances.
We are writing to appeal to your office the case of Mr. Pattani Razeek.
Mr. Razeek, a Managing Trustee of the Community Trust Fund (CTF) in Puttalam and Executive Committee Member of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) disappeared on February 11, 2010 while he was travelling to Polonnaruwa. He was last seen getting inside a van near the Jumma Mosque in Kaduruwela. After the incident, his family received phone calls from his mobile phone with attempts to produce huge amounts of money in exchange for Mr. Razeek’s release.
We have received reports that the remains of the internationally recognized human rights disappeared defender Mr. Pattani Razeek were exhumed in Kavathamunai, Oddamavadi, Valaichenai province on July 28, 2011 and the post mortem held on August 2, 2011 in Batticaloa. We have also heard from our partners that shops in the Puttalam town and nearby towns were shut down on August 3, 2011, with banners displayed in public places condemning the murder and calling to bring perpetrators to justice. This indicates the massive public outrage in the area against the killing of Mr. Razeek.
The Federation is saddened by the tragic end to the search for Mr. Razeek. Individuals responsible for the disappearance and killing of Mr. Razeek must be brought before the judiciary immediately.
In this light, the Federation appeals for the following urgent interventions on the case to expedite the transparent investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of Mr. Razeek’s disappearance by:
• Questioning and arresting all persons who were in the vehicle driven by one of the suspects, Mr. Musdeen, which was the vehicle used when Mr. Razeek was abducted.
• Questioning and arresting all persons who were in the vehicle with the other suspect, Mr. Nowshaadh, who had admitted to meeting Mr. Razeek in the area on the date he was last seen.
• Questioning and arresting Mr. Irshan, senior staff of Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, who had claimed that Mr. Razeek was in custody of the Defense Ministry.
• Investigating whether Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and former CTF Trustee Mr. Mustafa Nihmath had any direct or indirect involvement in the killing and abduction of Mr. Razeek, based on public calls for citing their involvement by the family, Mosque leaders and the thousands that gathered for Mr. Razeek’s funeral on August 3, 2011.
The development on the case of Mr. Razeek has again brought before the international community the issue of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka.
Thus, we are appealing to your office to issue an official invitation to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to visit the country again and to reinstate the state obligations by signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons form Enforced Disappearance.
Such actions are in compliance with Sri Lanka’s state obligations to ensure that no citizen under any circumstance shall be subjected to enforced disappearance; no person will be deprived of liberty unless he or she is formally charged with a criminal offense. Every person has the right to truth, reparation and the right to equal protection before the law and should enjoy an environment in which he or she can be defended under the rule of law.
It is only through truth and justice that genuine and lasting reconciliation and peace can be attained.
(Sgd.) MARY AILEEN D. BACALSO (Sgd.) MUGIYANTO
Copy furnished to:
1. Mr. Jeremy J. Sarkin
Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
c/o OHCHR-UNOG CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland
2. Committee on Enforced Disappearance (CED)
Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis, CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)
A pdf version of the official communication can be viewed at the following link: