Muttur massacre | Action Against Hunger

Muttur Massacre: 9 years on

On the ninth anniversary of their death, Action Against Hunger continues to fight for justice for 17 murdered colleagues

By Leah Oatway

Aug 4 2015

On 4 August 2006, 17 of our colleagues were brutally executed on our premises in Muttur, Sri Lanka. 

In one of the most serious crimes ever committed against humanitarian workers, our colleagues, who were wearing Action Against Hunger T-shirts, were lined up, forced to their knees and shot in the head.

Despite several national enquiries being carried out in Sri Lanka, to date, none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.

Action Against Hunger has published several reports that it has made available to the authorities, which bring together publicly available sources*, confidential documents and witness statements obtained by Action Against Hunger from witnesses on the ground and overseas, diplomatic contacts and other sources close to the matter. These sources implicate members of the security forces. So far, the authorities have ignored them.

The impunity given to the perpetrators of this crime must stop. Action against Hunger has called for an international investigation of the crime, in particular during a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2014. A resolution passed 27 March 2014 gave the go-ahead for an international investigation of the crimes committed between 2002 and 2011 during the civil war that ravaged Sri Lanka.

Originally scheduled for March 2015 and already postponed, the report by the independent investigators is expected in Geneva in September 2015.

Light must be shed on the violent death of 17 humanitarians.

By attacking our colleagues – all humanitarians, the assailants robbed the population of vital aid. By attacking them, they targeted the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and international solidarity.

With World Humanitarian Day just two weeks away, Action against Hunger reiterates the need to protect workers who deliver assistance to vulnerable populations. During conflicts, natural disasters and emergency response, our staff are exposed to the same dangers as civilians. We continue in our mission to raise awareness of the need to protect humanitarians among the public and with international bodies www.protectaidworkers.org

ENDS

*Sources include: WikiLeaks cables, articles by non-governmental organisations, UN reports and press articles amongst others

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