Gazette issued to de-radicalize detainees accused of extremism

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued a gazette notice to de-radicalize detainees accused of extremism.

The gazette notice states that the objective of the regulations is to ensure that any person who surrenders or is taken into custody on suspicion of causing or intending to cause acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony is dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

According to the gazette notice, any person who surrenders or is taken into custody on suspicion of being a person who by words either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, causes or intends to cause commission of acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony or feelings of ill will or hostility between different communities or racial or religious groups after the coming into operation of these regulations is dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and that persons who have surrendered or have been taken into custody in terms of any emergency regulation which was in force at any time prior to coming into operation of these regulations, continue in terms of these regulations, to enjoy the same care and protection which they were previously enjoying.

The gazette notice also states that any person who, in connection with any offence under the provisions of, (a) the Act, or the Prevention of Terrorism (Proscription of Extremist Organizations) Regulations No. 1 of 2019 published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2123/3 of May 13, 2019, surrenders or has surrendered to, or is taken or has been taken \ into custody by or the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation, No. 1 of 2019 published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2120/5 of April 22, 2019, has surrendered to or has been taken into custody by, any police officer, or any member of the armed forces, or to any public officer or any other person or body of persons authorized by the President by Order, may be referred to a rehabilitation programme in terms of the provisions of these regulations.

The Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister has been instructed to from time to time approve centres to be known as “Reintegration Centres” for the purpose of rehabilitating the surrendees and detainees.

Any person other than a Police officer to whom a person surrenders or who takes a person into custody in terms of the regulations must hand over such surrendee or person taken into custody, to the Officer in Charge of the nearest Police station within twenty four hours of such surrender or taking into custody.

Notwithstanding the provisions of regulations, where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a surrendee or detainee has committed an offence specified in the regulations, the Officer in Charge of the police station in which such surrendee or detainee is held in custody must submit a report to the Minister for consideration whether such surrendee or detainee shall be detained in terms of section 9 of the Act, for the purpose of conducting an investigation.

Where in the course of such investigation it is disclosed that such surrendee or detainee has committed an offence specified in regulation 3, the matter must be referred to the Attorney General for appropriate action in terms of the law.

According to the gazette notice, where the Attorney-General is of the opinion that according to the nature of the offence committed a surrendee or detainee shall be rehabilitated at a Centre in lieu of instituting criminal proceedings against him, such surrendee or detainee must be produced before a Magistrate with the written approval of the Attorney-General.

The Magistrate may make order, having taking into consideration whether such surrendee or detainee has committed any other offence other than offences specified in regulation 3, referring him for rehabilitation for a period not exceeding one year at a centre.

If any surrendee or detainee who is referred to for rehabilitation by an order of a magistrate under sub regulation (4) of regulation 5 acts in a manner that is disruptive to the rehabilitation programme or detrimental to the interests of the other surrendees or detainees who are under rehabilitation at the Centre, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation must inform in that regard in writing to the Officer in Charge of the Police station who applied to the Magistrate for rehabilitation of such surrendee or detainee.

Upon receipt of information from the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation under sub regulation (1) of the regulation, the Officer in Charge of the Police station who applied to the Magistrate for rehabilitation of such surrendee or detainee can apply to the Magistrate to revoke the order for rehabilitation and refer the matter to the Attorney General to consider whether such person shall be indicted in lieu of rehabilitation.

At the end of the period of rehabilitation specified in respect of a surrendee or detainee in the order made by the Magistrate under sub Regulation (4) of regulation 5, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation shall, having regard to the nature and progress of the rehabilitation of such surrendee or detainee, consider whether it is appropriate for the surrendee or detainee to be released or be subject to a further the period of rehabilitation, shall forthwith submit his recommendation to the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister, and the Secretary shall forthwith forward such report to the Minister.

The Minister may, after perusal of the report submitted to him under sub regulation (1) of the regulation, order the release of such surrendee or detainee or extend the period of rehabilitation for a period of six months at a time, so however that the aggregate
period of such extensions shall not exceed a further twelve months. (Colombo Gazette)

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