Puttalam High Court rejects bail for Hejaaz Hizbullah

The Puttalam High Court has refused to grant bail to Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.

The High Court rejected a bail application filed on behalf of Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah, when the case was heard today.

Hizbullah thanked all those who are fighting for his release and urged them to continue fighting

He is a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and has been a vocal critic of Government on human rights issues, particularly the rights of minorities in the country.

Hizbullah was arrested on 14 April 2020 by members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lankan Police.

After initially not being informed of the reason for his arrest, the authorities later accused him in the media of aiding and abetting the individuals involved in 21 April bombings in Sri Lanka—an accusation that has since been withdrawn. The authorities later charged him with speech related offenses under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The PTA provides authorities with sweeping powers to arbitrarily detain individuals for up to 18 months without charge, being brought before a judge, or trial, among others. Hejaaz has been denied regular, unrestricted access to his lawyers and family throughout his detention.

Amnesty International had said that he is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released and all charges against him dropped. (Colombo Gazette)

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