On November 14th, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark ruling, declaring the arrest of Ramzy Razeek in April 2020 under the ICCPR Act a violation of his Fundamental Rights. The court ordered the State to compensate Razeek with Rs 1 million. Furthermore, Chief Inspector B.M.A.S.K. Senaratne and former CID Director DIG W. Thilakaratne, the first and second respondents, respectively, were personally directed to pay Rs 30,000 to Razeek within one month.
In a significant move, the Supreme Court mandated the Attorney General, the sixth respondent, to issue a summary of the judgment’s principles to the Inspector General of Police within one month. This directive aims to ensure the dissemination of these principles among all Police officers, instructing strict adherence. The State was also tasked with covering the petitioner’s legal costs.
The case, presided over by Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Yasantha Kodagoda, and Janak de Silva, saw representation by Attorneys-at-Law Nuwan Bopage and Chathura Weththasinghe, instructed by Ramzi Bacha, on behalf of the petitioner. 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, faced arrest on April 9, 2020, under the ICCPR Act and the Computer Crimes Act. This arrest occurred a week after Razeek posted 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.
Though released on bail on September 17, 2020, the criminal investigation against Razeek remained open. However, on September 21, 2023, the Colombo Magistrate’s Court granted him release from the case after three years. The Right to Life Human Rights Center also supported Razeek throughout this legal ordeal.