Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP)

The Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) is a non-governmental, non-profit body consisting of activists, former prisoners, attorneys and civil society advocates who believe that prisoners in the Sri Lankan Prison system ought to be necessitated to have equal opportunity to live, as any other citizen, as stated in the Penal Code that all citizens are equal before the law. Formed on the basis of upholding the Rights of Prisoners stated in the Sri Lankan Constitution – within a nation-state in which any citizen can easily be apprehended at the hands of the State – the Committee exists to provide legal aid and advice, intervene and advocate for rights ranging from demanding basic welfare, better prison conditions, justice for cases of torture, to the right to life of prisoners.

What we do?

Apart from providing legal aid and counsel for those who may seek justice from within the prison system – we actively seek justice for murders that have taken place within the prison system, urge the authorities to provide the rights afforded to prisoners under the Prisons Ordinance Act, and act as a group of interest in cases of prison torture, sexual abuse and/or murder, by actively representing prisoners in court, spreading awareness on cases and organizing protests, regardless of the prisoner’s race, gender, sexuality, caste and political standing.

Aims and Objectives

Making the ‘prisoners are human beings’ concept a reality. We look forward to continue utilizing the existing laws and provisions related to Prisoners in the Sri Lankan Constitution, under the Prisoners Ordinance Act. Furthermore, as we’ve also been the main lobbyist group influencing reform and expressing interest in prison reform, advocating for the individual freedom and liberty for those within the system and for their right to live, we steadfastly want to continue to be a voice of reason in the midst of the deterioration of democracy. We want to continue to decry and advocate against the Death Penalty which is a recurring theme/ legislation pledged to be implemented by numerous Sri Lankan State Heads and administrations that have come into being.

You can join us, help and donate

As a body focusing on safeguarding the rights of the voiceless and giving voice to the voiceless, through our advocacy – each one of our services are provided free of charge and all expenses of the Committee members involved are covered for with our own individual earnings. However, we are keenly looking forward to have the scope to represent more prisoners, organize more protests and make an impactful change for those who are currently spending their sentences within the prison system and those who may eventually enter it. In order to make this vision a reality, a donation may go a long way to build a sufficient fund to move forward and to grow as a prisoner rights advocacy group in Sri Lanka. According to public records, CPRP is the only standing and official non-profit which works on safeguarding prisoner rights, as of now in Sri Lanka.