On November 14th, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark ruling, declaring that the arrest of Ramzy Razeek in April 2020, under the ICCPR Act, infringed upon his Fundamental Rights. Consequently, the State has been directed to compensate him with Rs 1 million.
In a noteworthy move, Chief Inspector B.M.A.S.K. Senaratne, the first respondent, and former CID Director DIG W. Thilakaratne, the second respondent, have been personally instructed to pay Rs 30,000 to the petitioner, Mr. Razeek, within one month from their own funds.
Moreover, the Supreme Court has mandated the Attorney General, the sixth respondent, to issue a summary of the judgment’s principles to the Inspector General of Police within a month. This summary is intended for dissemination among all Police officers, with strict instructions to adhere to these principles. The State has also been tasked with covering the legal costs incurred by the petitioner.
The case was heard by Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Yasantha Kodagoda, and Janak de Silva. Attorneys-at-Law Nuwan Bopage and Chathura Weththasinghe, instructed by Ramzi Bacha, represented Mr. Razeek, while 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 occurred a week after he 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.
Although released on bail on September 17, 2020, the criminal investigation against him remained open. Finally, on September 21, 2023, the Colombo Magistrate’s Court discharged him from the case after three years, with the Right to Life Human Rights Center also providing support throughout this legal ordeal.