Popular human rights lawyer and outspoken federal government critic, Hajeez Hizbullah’s ongoing imprisonment has in fact raised anxious amongst rights groups.
The Muslim legal representative was detained in April for over six months under the commonly criticised Avoidance of Terrorism Act (PTA) and has really stayed in detention without charges or any trusted evidence being submitted prior to a court. According to the PTA, Sri Lankan authorities can apprehend any ‘suspect’ for as much as 18 months, using detention orders lasting 90 days at a time. Hizbullah’s 2nd duration of detention is since of expire on 17 October 2020.
2 detention orders provided by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pointed out that Hizbullah most likely helped and abetted the 2019 Easter church battles and took part in activities deemed ‘harmful to the spiritual consistency among communities’.
Discussing Hizbullah’s detention, South Asia scientist at Amnesty International said that Hizbullah’s arrest “had a chilling influence on any person related to peaceful dissent and advocacy, be it attorneys, human rights protectors or members of the minority Muslim area”.
Director of the Work Environment of the Secretary-General of Amnesty International stated the “severe law [PTA] need to not be utilized to validate his prohibited detention”. “The Sri Lankan authorities need to reverse the PTA and offer individuals who have suffered due to the fact that of it the justice they are owed, in the type of remedies and reparations,” he included.
According to Al Jazeera, some critics suggest that he was targeted due to his handle interfaith relations and reconciliation amidst increasing Islamophobia in the island nation filled with sectarian and ethnic divide.A hearing
of his case will occur at a local magistrate court in Colombo when again on 28 October. However, activists revealed there is ‘little hope of bail’.