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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today urged the creation of a special hybrid court in Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of war crimes during the country’s civil war.

Speaking at a media briefing in Geneva a short while ago on the release of the new UN report from the Office of the High Commissioner’s Investigation Committee on Sri Lanka (OISL), he said a hybrid court, with international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators was key towards ensuring justice as a domestic mechanism alone could not overcome suspicions fueled by decades of erosion of human rights in the country.

Zeid noted that the new UN report, which covers the period from 2002-2011 laid bare ‘horrific human rights abuses’. Violations were likely to have been committed by both sides of the conflict, he added.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner also claimed many of the structures responsible for human rights abuses remained in place and called for their dismantling.

He also called on the Sri Lankan Government to invite the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to set up an office in the country.

“This report is being presented in a new political context in Sri Lanka, which offers grounds for hope,” Zeid said. “It is crucial that this historic opportunity for truly fundamental change is not allowed to slip.”

UNHRC Advanced Unedited Report on Sri Lanka 2015