Muslim Council of Britain challenges forced Covid cremations in Sri Lanka

The Muslim Council of Britain is launching a authorized problem to the Sri Lankan authorities’s coverage that every one individuals who die of Covid should be cremated, even in violation of their non secular beliefs.

The insistence on cremation has brought about nice misery among the many nation’s Muslim minority. Islam stipulates that the useless should be buried.

World Health Organization tips allow the burial or cremation of individuals who die of Covid, however the Sri Lankan authorities adopted a coverage of necessary cremations in March.

Earlier this month, a 20-day-old child who died of Covid was cremated in opposition to the household’s needs. The little one’s father mentioned he couldn’t bear to witness the cremation.

“I cannot go into a place where they are burning my baby. My friends and family asked the authorities how they can go ahead with the cremation when neither of the parents had signed any document giving consent. They said because the baby is a Covid-19 positive patient, they can cremate,” MFM Fahim instructed Al Jazeera.

Some Muslim and Christian households sought to problem the federal government’s coverage in court docket, saying it violated their freedom of faith and basic rights below the structure. But the supreme court docket dismissed the case in early December.

A taskforce arrange by the Muslim Council of Britain has written to the Sri Lankan excessive commissioner in the UK demanding a right away reversal of the “forced cremation” coverage and its impression on Muslim and Christian communities. The MCB mentioned it could additionally pursue “the necessary legal action to end this violation”.

Tayab Ali, a accomplice at London regulation agency, Bindmans, mentioned: “The forced cremations of Muslim bodies in Sri Lanka are a serious violation of the religious freedom of a minority group. It is a violation of international law to delay returning a family member’s body for burial in a timely way unless there is good reason to do so.

“In this case the Sri Lankan authorities have departed from the WHO’s recommendation for the safe management of a dead body during the coronavirus pandemic without any justification.

“In addition, the Sri Lankan supreme court’s rapid and unreasoned dismissal of the application made by family members of the deceased leaves no domestic remedy to what some have described as ongoing persecution of the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka is majority Buddhist, with Muslims making up about 9% of the inhabitants and Christians about 7%. The nation has had greater than 25,000 circumstances of Covid-19 and 124 deaths, together with greater than 50 Muslims who had been cremated.

Human rights activists say the cremation coverage is an element of an ongoing assault on the nation’s Muslim group by the Sinhala Buddhist majority authorities, led by president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa was elected final 12 months on a wave of anti-Muslim and hardline Buddhist sentiment, following the Easter suicide bombings by Islamist militants in church buildings and luxurious accommodations final April which left 267 useless.

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