Death row inmates in Sri Lanka protest ex-lawmaker’s pardon

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Prison officials say about 150 death row inmates in Sri Lanka have begun a hunger strike to demand their sentences be commuted to life in prison. Their protest comes a day after President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa pardoned a former lawmaker who had been condemned for an election-related killing. Several inmates stood on the roof of one prison and held up banners demanding equal treatment and bail consideration. One read: “Grant pardon to us like you did to terrorists and notorious politicians.” The lawmaker’s surprise release has drawn widespread criticism, including from the U.N. human rights office and the U.S. ambassador in Sri Lanka. They say it weakens the rule of law in Sri Lanka. 

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