Condemning the arrests of 21 protesters on Monday (20) on charges of obstructing the entrance to the Finance Ministry premises, the Black Caps Movement said they are considering filing a FR petition at the Supreme Court against the Police.
Addressing the media yesterday (21), Black Caps Movement Spokesperson Buddhi Karunaratne said they will also file a complaint at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL).
“We strongly condemn the State crackdown on peaceful protesters on the birthday of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has been rejected by the people but is still shamelessly remaining in power. The protesters did not obstruct duties of the Finance Ministry on Monday (20). However, the Police stormed the peaceful protest and arrested 21 protesters arbitrary,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the movement also emphasised that Amal Salinda, who had been an active member of the GotaGoGama since its inception, was allegedly ‘abducted’ by the Police on the same day evening and detained at the Ports Police Station.
“The lawyers who appeared for him after his arrest were misled into believing that he would be produced in Court before Tuesday (21) night. As a result, the lawyers were deliberately deprived of the opportunity to speak on his behalf, and now Amal Salinda is remanded for 14 days. Police are obliged to treat any suspect arrested fairly until proven guilty by a court of law,” stated Karunaratne.
He noted that any suspect has a fundamental right to legal assistance in obtaining bail and emphasised that they are of the view that the Police have deliberately violated both the above rights regarding Amal Salinda.
“It is clear the Police had misled the lawyers by giving them false information so that they would not be allowed to speak on behalf of the suspect and had acted in a premeditated manner to imprison the suspect,” added Karunaratne.
Black Caps Movement also stressed that further action will be taken against the abuse of Police powers to suppress peaceful protesters.
By Nabiya Vaffoor