Sri Lanka tsunami robbers could face first death sentences in decades

Sri Lanka tsunami robbers could face first death sentences in decades

[JURIST] Sri Lanka Solicitor General C.R. de Silva [official profile] announced Saturday that two men photographed stealing a gold necklace from a woman while she struggled in the rushing waters of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami [JURIST news archive] will be prosecuted for murder. If convicted, they could face the death penalty under Sri Lanka law. After taking the woman's necklace, the two men allowed her to fall back into the water, and her body was discovered later.

Sri Lanka put a moratorium on the death penalty in 1976, but lifted the ban in 2004 [JURIST report] in response to the killing of a high court judge [JURIST report]. The move has been sharply criticized by human rights groups [ACHR backgrounder]. AP has more.