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  • Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months
                                      The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, the EU and UN Human Rights Core Group on Sri Lanka have expressed their concerns on the arbitrary arrest and detention of Hizbullah [Photo courtesy: Family] Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months Rights groups and members of civil society have raised concerns over the continued incarceration of a Muslim lawyer in Sri Lanka, adding that his prolonged detention “had a chilling effect on anyone involved in peaceful dissent and advocacy”.

    Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on “terrorism” charges in April and has remained in detention...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah case: CID misled public and Cardinal, says Counsel
    When the case of the arrest of Hejaaz Hizbullah was taken up yesterday, the Counsel alleged that the Criminal Investigations Department had misled the Cardinal and the public with regard to Hizbullah.

    “They lied to His Eminence the Cardinal and the public. The real culprits were never caught and they have instead found a scapegoat in Hejaaz,” the Counsel said.

    The CID submitting a report said that they were awaiting a Government Analyst report on three phones used by Hizbullah.

    “This is how they lied throughout. They said the investigations were to be completed and a Deputy Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department said it would be by 16 September. The CID lied to the Attorney General’s Department as well and is now seeking further time.”

    The CID said that transactions of...
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  • Sri Lanka has locked up this Muslim lawyer without charge for nearly five months
    The prominent Sri Lankan Muslim lawyer, Hejaaz Hizbullah, is being described by human rights groups as the latest victim of Sri Lanka’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act.

    On April 14, Hizbullah, 40, got a call from the Ministry of Health saying they were worried he may have contracted COVID-19 and advised him to remain at home.

    A day earlier he and others had written to the Sri Lankan president about his government’s decision to ban Muslims from burying their dead, forcing them to cremate their remains instead – a violation of their right to freedom of religion, as protected by Sri Lanka’s constitution and its international obligations.

    Hejaaz Hizbullah was a lawyer at the Supreme Court and worked as a state counsel for the Attorney General’s department. Beyond his legal work, he was involved...
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  • “කවදා හෝ යුක්තිය ඉටුවේයැ’යි බලාපොරොත්තු සහගතව ජීවිතය ගෙවනවා විනා වෙන කිසිවක් කළ නොහැකි වීම ගැන මට ඇත්තේ නොදැරිය හැකි වේදනාවකි”: මගේ මල්ලි හිජාස්
    හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මගේ බාල සොහොයුරා ය. අගෝස්තු 25 වැනි දිනට එළඹුණු ඔහුගේ 40 වැනි උපන්දිනය ඔහුට ගත කිරීමට සිදු වුයේ පාස්කු ඉරිදා ත්‍රස්තවාදී ප්‍රහාරයට සම්බන්ධ බවට අභූත චෝදනා එල්ල කරමින් අයුතු ලෙස අත්තඩංගුවට පත්ව අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ රැඳවුම් භාරයේදී ය. හිජාස් පිළිබඳව මට ඇති පැරණිතම මතකයන් අතර බොහොමයක් කළුබෝවිල සිට...
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  • Hejaaz Detention: Fort Magistrate Orders CID To Submit All Statements Obtained In Investigations


    Following submissions by Defence Counsel that the Criminal Investigations Department is selectively reporting facts to the Magistrate in order to malign Hejaaz Hizbullah, Fort Magistrate today ordered the Criminal Investigations Department to submit a report of all statements obtained by them from persons relating to the investigations of Hizbullah.
    When the case was taken up today. Counsel for the Defence informed Court that the Criminal Investigations Department had obtained statements from all persons of the Save the Pearls Charity and the Teachers and Board of Management of the Al-Zuhriya Madarasa.

    However, none of those statements had been produced to date.
    They said that the statements would reveal that all the allegations made by the CID are a fabrication and were made in order to malign Hizbullah and...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah: Symptom and symbol
    What made him more enigmatic was that unlike most others in his profession who shield their lives beneath a calm facade, he taught exceptionally well Apparently he called the Easter attackers “fools who died as fools.” I can picture Hejaaz saying that   There’s an image of Hejaaz Hizbullah I return to over and over again. It’s an image of him holding a placard at a protest in 2018. The placard reads, “Asilachaara parliamenthuwak wenuwata seelachara parliamenthuwak” (“A cultured parliament in place of an uncultured parliament”). The reason why it resonates with me is that, even in the ecstatic way he holds it, he is quite unlike the Hejaaz Hizbullah I once knew. But then I realise that the Hejaaz I once knew couldn’t have been the real guy. 
    I first encountered the man in 2013 at my law school. He didn’t...
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  • Niqab Ban In France Violates Human Rights Of Muslim Women: UN Human Rights Committee
    The United Nations Human Rights Committee said France’s niqab ban violates the human rights of Muslim women and risks “confining them to their homes.” Women in France can be fined up to 150 euros for wearing the niqab, a full-face...
    Read More...
  • Rathana At It Again; ACJU Is The Punching Bag For Everyone
    By Mass L. Usuf Mass Usuf Let this column begin with a Disclaimer. It is only an analysis and the writer is not holding a brief to defend or protect the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (
    Read More...
  • Democracy Threatened: Impunity, Political Patronage & Rollback Of Devolution
    By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – R. Sasilan: Assistant Commissioner of Elections Today we are opening new living quarters for our Election Commission’s man-in-charge in Batticaloa. I am so glad because R. Sasilan is a man I am proud of. He stands up for what is right without fear or favor. When a minister distributed gifts in elections some years ago, he confiscated a gift pack and filed a complaint with the police. The police, as often happens, disappeared the evidence. Sasilan sent a report to the Commission and that too disappeared....
    Read More...
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Sri Lanka struggles to halt days of Buddhist riots

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A Sri Lankan Muslim tries to put out the remaining embers in his fire-gutted business in Digana town, Kandy in Sri Lanka, 7 March 2018Image copyrightEPAImage captionScores of Muslim businesses are reported to have been targeted by Buddhist mobs - many set ablaze

The Sri Lankan government says more troops have been deployed to the central district of Kandy, to try to end days of violence against Muslims.

Police used tear gas to disperse Buddhist rioters who have attacked mosques and Muslim-owned businesses.

They are defying a curfew imposed after a Buddhist youth died during an altercation with a group of Muslims.

A state of emergency has been imposed and the curfew extended, and authorities are blocking social media.

The authorities had feared retaliation after a young Muslim man's body was found in a burnt-out building in Kandy on Tuesday.

Fresh clashes between mobs from the majority Sinhalese and minority Muslim communities erupted in several areas overnight, and a number of properties were set on fire.

On Wednesday, there were reports that a Sinhalese man had died when a hand grenade he was carrying went off in a Kandy district.

Police leave has been cancelled and "the army has been deployed in tens and thousands" in the scenic hilly area, said government spokesman Rajitha Senarathane.

President Maithripala Sirisena toured Kandy on Wednesday, saying he had "ordered that the full force of the law be used against troublemakers", reported AFP news agency.

Meanwhile, the influential former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, Kumar Sangakkara, called for the violence to stop and said there was "no place for racism or violence":

Last week, the eastern town of Ampara also saw anti-Muslim violence over a dispute in a shop.

Tensions have been building in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka since 2012, said to have been fuelled by hard-line Buddhists.

Under the state of emergency, the authorities are able to arrest and detain suspects for long periods, and deploy forces where needed.

It is the first time in seven years Sri Lanka has imposed the measure. The country was under a state of emergency for nearly three decades when the government fought Tamil rebels in the civil war that ended in 2009.

Sri Lankan police commandos patrol on the streets of Pallekele, a suburb of Kandy, on March 6, 2018, following anti-Muslim riots that has prompted the government to declare a state of emergency.Image copyrightAFPImage captionPolice commandos are out in force in KandyA mobile phone screen shows a Facebook page unable to open after the government shut down social messaging networks including Facebook island wide in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 7 March 2018Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionSocial media sites have been blocked - and in some of the affected area, the entire internet shut down

"Access to certain social media sites and messaging platforms will be restricted with immediate effect until further notice," said a statement from Sri Lanka's largest mobile phone provider Dialog.

A senior government minister told the BBC that Facebook, WhatsApp and other social platforms were being used to carry hate speech and misinformation aimed at inciting more violence.

Schools have been closed and a curfew extended until Thursday evening.

Foreign governments have urged their citizens to stay away from large crowds and protests, and warn that there could be more unrest.

The UN has urged that immediate action be taken against perpetrators of the violence.

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43305453

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