United Nations experts have urged Sri Lanka today to end the mandatory cremation of COVID 19 victims, a statment by Office of the UN Human Rights Commisioner (OHCHR) said.
The statement was issued by quoting four UN experts, Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule,Special Rapporteur on the rights of peaceful assembly and association and Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng,Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
“The imposition of cremation as the only option for handling the bodies confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 amounts to a human rights violation. We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country,” added the experts. “Such hostility against the minorities exacerbates existing prejudices, intercommunal tensions, and religious intolerance, sowing fear and distrust while inciting further hatred and violence.”
“There has been no established medical or scientific evidence in Sri Lanka or other countries that burial of dead bodies leads to increased risk of spreading communicable diseases such as COVID-19,” said the experts.
Read the full statement: