The Supreme Court yesterday (14) ruled that the arrest of Ramzy Razeek, under the ICCPR Act in April 2020, violated his Fundamental Rights and ordered the State to compensate him with Rso 1 million.
Additionally, Chief Inspector B.M.A.S.K. Senaratne, the first respondent, and former CID Director DIG W. Thilakaratne, the second respondent, were individually directed to pay Rs 30,000 to the petitioner (Razeek) within one month, from their personal funds.
The Supreme Court further mandated that the Attorney General, the sixth respondent, issue a summary of the judgment’s principles to the Inspector General of Police within one month for dissemination among all Police officers, instructing them to strictly adhere to these principles. The State was also ordered to cover the petitioner’s legal costs.
The case was heard by Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Yasantha Kodagoda, and Janak de Silva. Attorneys-at-Law Nuwan Bopage and Chathura Weththasinghe, instructed by Ramzi Bacha, represented the petitioner, while State Counsel Induni Punchihewa appeared for the first and third to sixth respondents.
Ramzy Razeek, a social media commentator and member of Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority, was arrested on 9 April 2020, under the ICCPR Act and the Computer Crimes Act, a week after posting on Facebook advocating for an “ideological jihad” using the pen and keyboard to counter hate propaganda against Muslims by extremists from the Sinhalese Buddhist majority community.
Released on bail on 17 September 2020, the criminal investigation against him remained open.
On 21 September 22023, the Colombo Magistrate’s Court released him from the case after three years.