New York: Authorities in Sri Lanka should end arbitrary arrests and other abuses against Muslims and protect the community from violence, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.Also Read - Locals In Gurugram Sector 12 Protest Against Namaz At Public Place, Raise Slogans

Since the Easter Sunday bombings in April 2019 that killed over 250 people, which was claimed by Islamist militants, Sri Lankan Muslims have faced an upsurge in violations of their basic rights and assaults and other abuses from Buddhist nationalists, the rights body said. Also Read - Tourism Back on Track Amid Covid-19 as Sri Lanka Records Over 7,000 Foreign Visitors in October 2021

Sri Lankan officials and politicians should stop endorsing, ignoring or exploiting hate speech and mob violence directed at Muslims by members of the Buddhist clergy and other powerful figures, it said. Also Read - SAFF Championship 2021 Match Highlights India vs Sri Lanka Match 5 Today Football Updates: Lack-Lustre India Play Out a Goalless Draw Against Sri Lanka

“The Sri Lankan government has a duty to protect its citizens and prosecute those responsible for the terrible Easter Sunday bombings, but it shouldn’t be punishing the Muslim community for this crime,” it said.

“It’s crucial for the authorities to act swiftly to stop mob violence, threats, and discrimination against Muslims.”

In June 2019, Human Rights Watch interviewed Muslim victims of abuses, activists, lawyers and officials to document abuses against Muslims, often with state complicity.

Since the bombings, the authorities have arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of people under counterterrorism and emergency laws, Human Rights Watch said.

The situation has caused mounting international alarm for the safety of Muslims and other minorities.