The recently appointed Sri Lankan Government started abduction, arrest, detention without due process and other acts of presidential and state authority against the peaceful protesters in the Aragalaya people movement.
Applying PTA against peaceful protesters is a violation of international law. Inter-university students federation convenor Wasantha Mudalige, Member of Kelaniya University Student Union Hasantha Jeewantha, and Inter-university Bhikku Federation convenor Galwewa Siridhamma Himi have been punished with a detention order under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. They can be detained for up to 18m without bail.
Using a Draconian anti-terror law to crack down on protesters is a new low for Sri Lankan government. This weaponizes an already highly criticized law, which should be repealed immediately. Using PTA to detain protesters is against Sri Lanka’s international human rights obligations, especially the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Charges of terrorism do not proportionate with any offenses the protesters alleged to have committed. Such an act by authorities is excessive, disproportionate, and violates international law.
Srilankan government create another dark day for human rights. We urge people worldwide to help raise their voices to release university activists from this unlawful detention under PTA.