Salley freed, admitted to Nawaloka

Former Deputy Mayor and prominent Muslim politician Azath Salley was freed from police detention today and transferred to the Nawaloka hospital for treatment.

Salley’s family said that Salley was taken to the Nawaloka hospital from the Colombo National hospital where he was receiving treatment for poor health, under police detention.

Ameena Azath Salley, the daughter of former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Salley, had  this week filed a petition at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against the arrest of her father. In the petition, Ameena said her father was wrongfully arrested.

Meanwhile a public statement signed by several individuals, clergy, organisations and politicians, vehemently condemned the arrest and detention of Azath Salley, by a team of officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID).

The statement said that Salley was arrested under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and he has been placed under detention for further interrogation by the CID for 3 months under Section 2(1)(h) of the PTA.

The statement said that the unlawful arrest and detention of Salley is in a context where there have been increasing attacks and threats against minorities, a growing spate of incidents of religious intolerance, and clamping down of critics of the Government and dissent on the whole.

Salley has been a vocal critic of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the anti–Muslim activities of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), and has been actively involved in efforts to initiate legal action against both groups.

Salley has been on a fast since his arrest on 2 May in protest against his unjust arrest, and demanding his release.

Since his arrest, he has been moved from the 4th Floor of the CID to the National Hospital as he had collapsed due to lack of food, water and medication.

“There are concerns his condition can deteriorate if not urgently addressed, as he is a diabetic and in need of medication,” the statement said. (Colombo Gazette)