Aug 15, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court today ordered the government authorities to suspend repatriating Pakistani nationals who have sought refugee status in Sri Lanka.
The Court of Appeal on Friday ordered the suspension when a petition filed by an aggrieved Pakistani female was taken up for consideration.
The petitioner, Anila Imran, in her petition has told the court that Pakistani authorities persecute Christians and Shia Muslims in the Ahamandi region and they had arrived in Sri Lanka seeking protection. She has requested the court to stop sending them back to Pakistan, News First reported.
The petitioner cited the Controller of the Immigration and Emigration, the Minister of External Affairs, the Defense Minister, the Defence Secretary, the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Human Rights and the Attorney General as respondents in her petition.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR said Sri Lanka's deportation of the refugees back to the places where they fled from is a violation of international law and called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately halt deportations.
Sri Lanka is bound by observance of the of non-refoulement law which prohibits the return of refugees to territory where they face danger.
Appeal Court Judge W.A. Salam ordered the respondents to appear before court on August 29.