Sri Lanka slams lawyers over 'Snowden refugee' claims

Police said they had no interest in the two Sri Lankan men, both asylum-seekers, who in 2013 had helped the former US National Security Agency contractor evade authorities in Hong Kong.

Sri Lanka slams lawyers over 'Snowden refugee' claims

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sri Lankan police Sunday formally denied hunting nationals who sheltered fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and said their claims to the contrary could have been made to bolster asylum applications.

Snowden's Sri Lankan former hosts, Supun Thilina Kellapatha and ex-soldier Ajith Pushpakumara, told reporters in Hong Kong on Thursday that they were "scared and nervous" about Sri Lankan police agents' activities allegedly targeting them in Hong Kong.

"We confirm these allegations are frivolous, unfounded and baseless," Sri Lankan police said in a statement.

It said only one Sri Lankan police officer had travelled to Hong Kong last year, between November and December for five days to attend Interpol training on cyber crime.

The statement did not name the attorneys for the two Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, but said it had come across instances of lawyers making false allegations against law enforcement to strengthen their clients' asylum claims.

"We have come across lawyers representing asylum seekers who are in the habit of making utter false allegations against officers... with the ulterior motive of supporting (asylum) claims of their clients," the statement said.

Accompanying the asylum-seekers on Thursday, their lawyer Robert Tibbo and pro-democracy lawmakers James To and Charles Mok said they believed Sri Lankan police agents had targeted the pair.

The city's 11,000 marginalised would-be refugees spend years in limbo, hoping the government will support their asylum claims.

But with fewer than one percent of cases successfully substantiated by city authorities, most refugees live in fear of deportation.

The Sri Lankan families want to go to Canada, which has a track record of taking in refugees.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2017, 15:18
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