UN rep says execution investigators close to SLanka government

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A senior United Nations human rights representative says a Sri Lankan government investigation into the execution of prisoners by soldiers was not impartial.

Video footage broadcast earlier this month on British television, appeared to show government soldiers killing unarmed, bound and naked prisoners.

If the footage is genuine, the killings would clearly constitute a war crime.

The Government of Sri Lanka says the video is fake and has now released the results of what it calls four independent investigations.

But the UN Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, Professor Philip Alston, has told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia program the government has shown him only brief summaries of reports.

“The bottom line is that you have very serious allegations and you’ve got a handful of experts who are extremely close to the government who provide no sense of an impartial investigation of the type required,” he said.

He says a request from the UN to investigate has been ignored.

“There’s been no response. I have been requesting the government for a very long time now to undertake a visit because there have been quite a number of allegations of killings undertaken during the closing months of the civil war and the government is not interested again, it seems, in any sort of independent investigation of those allegations.