At least 60 Pakistani asylum seekers face deportation after being released from a detention centre in Sri Lanka by a court here amid international criticism over the government’s move.
The asylum seekers were released from the Boossa detention camp in the Southern Province on Tuesday and sent to temporary accommodation where they will now face deportation.
The Court of Appeal on Monday ruled that Sri Lanka was within their right to deport them after the government had argued that the country had among other reasons national security concerns.
The court had temporarily halted deportations until August 29, 2014 following an application by an asylum seeker whose husband, brother and father had been detained pending deportation.
Officials said the government had agreed for their release from detention.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and the local civil society organisations have been deploring deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers claiming that they were under serious threat if returned to Pakistan.
“These deportations are in breach of customary international law which requires all countries to abide by the principle of non-réfoulement (no forced returns) to countries where people face imminent risks.
“It violates article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the Sri Lankan government has ratified,” civil society organisations had said in an earlier statement.
The UNHCR has also been critical of Sri Lanka’s action claiming that Ahmadiyya, Christians and Shia communities need protection in Pakistan.