Sri Lanka rejects UN conclusion on execution video

Sri Lanka said that a video purportedly showing its troops killing blindfolded, naked Tamils during the civil war was a "fabrication".

Sri Lanka rejects UN conclusion on execution video

Sri Lanka said Friday that a video purportedly showing its troops killing blindfolded, naked Tamils during the civil war was a "fabrication".

The reaction came after Philip Alston, U.N. special reporter on extrajudicial executions, on Thursday urged an independent probe after a forensic pathologist, a forensic video analyst and a firearms expert concluded the video was likely real.

Britain's Channel 4 television aired a video last year that it said shows government troops killing unarmed, naked, bound and blindfolded men during the army's assault to the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The government immediately rejected it as a fraud perpetrated by Tamil Tiger supporters angry the separatist group had been defeated, and said its own investigation, using Sri Lankan civilian and military experts, had found it was "doctored".

"We reject these allegations," Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said. "In light of those continued contradictory findings, we can't accept it."

He was referring to some details Alston said the experts were unable to explain, like the movement of certain victims, 17 frames at the end of the video and the fact that the date encoded in the video -- July 17, 2009 -- is a month after war ended.

Nonetheless, all three concluded the footage was probably genuine, Alston said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is considering setting up an expert panel to advise him on the matter and help the Sri Lankan government to address possible violations.

However, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has the responsibility for investigating any war crimes allegations, a spokesman for Ban has said.

The Channel 4 video footage can be seen here: (http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/asia_pacific/execut ion+video+is+this+evidence+of+war+crimes+in+sri+lanka/3321087)

Alston's full report on the experts' analysis of the video can be found here: (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/executions/index.htm)



Agencies




Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2010, 15:29
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