A group of European countries have demanded to release poet Ahnaf Jazeem, who has been imprisoned for more than a year.
The ambassadors, who represent nine countries of the United Nations, made this request, after the rights groups’ call for immediate release of poet and teacher Ahnaf Jazeem, who was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and detained for year long without charge.
“We join the number of human rights organizations in calling for the immediate release of Mr. Jazeem, or for a speedy trial and to ensure that charges are filed expeditiously in accordance with international fair trial standards,” they said.
Ahnaf Jazeem is being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allows arbitrary detention of innocent people for up to 18 months without charge or prosecution.
“We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to reconsider the Prevention of Terrorism Act without further delay. Any law to combat terrorism must be in full compliance with the State’s commitment to international human rights and humanitarian law.” The ambassadors for human rights in France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden said in a statement.
In a statement issued last month in support of Ahnaf Jazeem’s release, the international human rights group said that the Prevention of Terrorism Act had been used against Sri Lanka’s ethnic and religious minorities and that Tamils and Muslims were being detained under the Act.
The signatories of this statement are; PEN International, Amnesty International (AI), The Sri Lanka campaign for Peace and Justice (SLC), Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), The International Working Group on Sri Lanka. International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka, The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), Australian Center for International Justice (ACIJ), Article 19, Human Rights Watch, IMADR, People for Equility and Relief in Lanka and Freemuse.