Sri Lanka: Students demand freedom for Tamil prisoners

The students marched on the Jaffna office of the United Nations on November 14.

More than 1000 students marched through the streets of Jaffna demanding freedom for Tamil political prisoners on November 14.

An appeal issued by the Jaffna Universty Students Union read: "At least 132 Tamil political prisoners are languishing in the prisons of Sri Lankan state across the island. Many of them have been detained for years without trial".

The students marched on the Jaffna office of the United Nations, calling on the UN to recognise the Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act as political prisoners and to call for their release.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has previously referred to them as "security detainees".

The students also marched on the American Corner, a US cultural centre in Jaffna, because of the United States’ role in supporting the Sri Lankan government, both during its genocidal war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who were fighting for an independent Tamil homeland, and in the post-war period.

They called on the US to recognise the detainees as political prisoners and pressure the Sri Lankan government to release them.

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