Colombo 7th February (EFE). A court on Monday granted bail for the human rights advocate Hejaaz Hizbullah two years after his arrest on suspicion of connections to the Easter 2019 bombing that killed more than 250 within Sri Lanka.
Hizbullah was deemed the prisoner of conscience of Amnesty International was arrested on Apr.14 20th, 2020, on false charges under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
The police have also accused him of creating a climate of racial conflict within the islands.
Lawmaker Eran Wickramaratne was pleased with the court’s decision to grant an indefinite bail period to Hizbullah.
However, Wickramaratne declared that the battle to repeal the PTA would continue.
“We should not be hesitant in our desire to end the much-abused PTA, which was used to hold Hejaaz first. We must ensure that there are no more prisoners of conscience similar to Hejaz.” He tweeted.
The European Union and international rights organizations had urged his release, as the police could not provide evidence to establish his claimed connection to terror.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said that the Sri Lankan government was using the law to conduct long-term indefinite detention without cause and torture.
The group of rights advocates urged the European Union, other trading partners, and donors to push for the repeal of the law infringing on human rights and oppose the government’s “vague assurances to reform.”
“Sri Lankan officials continue to employ the Prevention of Terrorism Act to remove people’s fundamental rights, and ignoring previous government pledges that they would repeal this law,” stated Meenakshi Ganguly. South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“EU members and other nations must reject this administration’s (President) Rajapaksa administration’s unconvincing promises to revamp the PTA and demand the law’s swift removal.”
The Sri Lankan government approved some modifications to the law against terrorism this month.
In a letter sent to the Attorney General of Sri Lanka in July of this year, Amnesty International said the PTA caused “an adverse effect” on exercising the right to the freedom to express one’s views throughout Sri Lanka.
The law grants authorities broad authority to hold individuals indefinitely for up to 18 years with no charges or trial based on the mere suspicion of committing an offense.
“The lawful principle requires the law to define and classify violations in clear and precise language that defines the punishable offenses,” Amnesty said.