Suspect arrested under the ICCPR Act is released on bail


Vijeykumar Vidhusan 18, was released on bail (from his case no. B/86990/2018) by the Colombo High Court on 17th October, 2018 after 10 months detention in the Colombo Remand Prison (CRP). However, he was released on 23rd October, 2018. It is important to note that the other suspect who was arrested along with him is still in remand as he does not hold a birth certificate nor National Identification Card.

On 01 January 2018, Vijeykumar Vidhusan 18, and Dineshkumar 32, were posting new year messages on facebook to their friends and family. However, the new year wishes contained pictures displaying Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the logo of the movement.

Moreover, it was Dineshkumar who initially posted new year wishes on his facebook and his friend Vijeykumar Vidhusan liked and shared with his friends on facebook. One of his facebook friends Edirimuny Pathum Rasanga who belongs to the majority Sinhala community had made a complaint against Vijeykumar Vidhusan regarding the post he shared at the Ratnapura Police.

The Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) officer had investigated into the complaint made by the Ratnapura Police on January 06, 2018. Both suspects were arrested consequently in the first week of January. They were produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court for having committed an offence under Section 3 (1) of ICCPR Act No. 50 of 2007 and was remanded on January 07, 2018.

Vijeykumar Vidhusan was employed in a private company as a operator-sewing. During his10 months detention, his family faced many financial issues as Vidhushan was the sole breadwinner.

According to his bail condition, Vijeykumar Vidhusan has to sign at the TID office every last Sunday of the month until his case concludes.

It is important to note that lately increasing number of arrests is taking place under the ICCPR Act Section 3(1). The Act is used against the ex-caders and population across north and east. In mid-June 2018, 12 were arrested under the said section of the ICCPR Act. The arrest and investigation process under the Act are conducted by the Terrorist Investigation Division and is same as the investigation process carried out under the PTA .

Although the government claims that the PTA is no more in operation, all arrests are taking place under the above Act, which was supposed to protect the civil and political rights of ordinary citizens.

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