President urged to free Salley

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to free former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Sally on humanitarian grounds.

In a letter addressed to the President, the Muslim Council said that the Muslim community in Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Azath Salley.

The President of the Muslim Council, N.M. Ameen said that Salley was suffering from hypertension and diabetes.

“We kindly urge your Excellency to show compassion and release him on humanitarian grounds. The Muslim community will greatly appreciate very much very much your Excellency’s kind consideration and immediate attention in this regard,” Ameen said in the letter.

Salley was admitted to hospital last evening as he continued a hunger strike which he launched following his arrested.

A leading human rights group, Amnesty International (AI) had also called for Salley’s release or for him to be charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence.

Sally, the leader of the newly formed Muslim Tamil National Alliance, has been an outspoken critic of  the Bodu Bala Sena, which has since February 2013 allegedly attacked Muslim and Christian religious establishments and agitated against certain religious practices.

On 29 April Salley had told journalists he was in hiding because he feared for his safety after receiving threats in state-run media. (Colombo Gazette)