Actions and Issues
2020 Main Actions:
Sri Lanka: Justice for the Trinco Five
China/Tibet: Unconditional release of Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk and Uyghur economist
and professor Ilham Tohti
Iran: Unconditional release of Nasrin Sotoudeh from prison, for regular access to her family members and a lawyer of her own choice, and for the abolition of mandatory hijab laws
United Arab Emirates: Unconditional release of Human Rights Defender Ahmed Mansoor
2020 Side Actions:
Saudi Arabia: Unconditional release of Saudi Women Human Rights Defender Loujain al-Hathloul
United States: Legislation for protecting people from gun violence
Sri Lanka: Justice For Ragihar Manoharan and the Trinco Five
Ragihar Manoharan, a Sri Lankan Tamil student, and four fellow students had gathered for a chat near the seafront in the town of Trincomalee in northeastern Sri Lanka at about 7:00 p.m. on January 2, 2006, when a grenade was thrown at them from a passing auto rickshaw. The students ran, but at least three of them were injured in the explosion. A short while later, a group of 10 to 15 officers in uniform, believed to be police from the elite Special Task Force, arrived. They reportedly put the injured students into their jeep and beat them with rifle butts, and then pushed them out onto the road. According to a witness, the security forces personnel then shot the five students dead.
Despite subsequent court hearings and an investigation by a presidential commission of inquiry, no one has been prosecuted for these murders. Ragihar’s father gave evidence at the proceedings and then received death threats. Ultimately, Ragihar’s family was forced to flee Sri Lanka.
Justice for Ragihar and the rest of the Trinco Five has been one of the GOTB actions for several years. In July 2013, due to the mounting international pressure, the Sri Lankan government arrested 12 Police Special Task Force members in connection with the murders. All 12 are out on bail and no further action has been taken since then. We are continuing to call on the Sri Lankan government to effectively investigate and prosecute those who murdered Ragihar Manoharan and the rest of the “Trinco Five."
In January 2018, the Sri Lankan government announced that it would allow evidence to be given by Skype in the Trinco Five case, which would facilitate testimony by witnesses living outside Sri Lanka. To date, though, little progress has occurred in the case. In fact, both the 2017 and 2018 reports on Sri Lanka from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights cited the case of the Trinco Five students as an emblematic case of human rights violations for which no appreciable progress has occurred.
Take Action Now: Join the South Asia Regional Action Network
Sign up for monthly actions by email on Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, the Maldives and Bangladesh.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and write "SARAN sign-up" in the subject line.
Tibet/China: Unconditional release of Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk and Uyghur economist
Tashi Wangchuk links: