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February 23, 2021 7:09 pm

TID case against Poet Ahnaf fixed for 02nd March

Sri Lanka Police Counter-terrorism and Investigation Division (TID) has filed a case against Poet Ahnaf Jazeem in Colombo Magistrate Court No.08 (Case No.B44230/08/2020) on 11th December, alleging that the poet, being a teacher employed in the School of Excellence international school, which premises was situated in a building owned by the ‘Save the Pearls” charity,  has taught students extremism by showing videos of ISIS. 

Ahnaf reciting a poem

The TID allege the Poet has committed offences under Section 3(a) and 3(b) of Prevention of terrorism Act (PTA) of 1979 and, under Section 3(1) and 3 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act No.56 of 2007. Under the former offences, if found guilty, a person would be subjected to an imprisonment up to 20 years and 7 years respectively and, in respect of the latter offences, the period of rigorous imprisonment may extend to 10 years.

The Poet, who had published the poetry book Navarasam in 2017, and had joined the School of Excellence in July 2019, was arrested by TID in May 2020 under draconian PTA and is kept in TID Custody under Detention Orders for 9 months.

According to the B-report filed by TID, the poet has been produced to Court by TID (under Section 127 of the Criminal Procedure Code) on the first date, “on his request”, for the poet Ahnaf to make an incriminating admission that he obtained extremist ideas while he was a student at Naleemiah institute of Islamic Studies, from where he graduated and, thereafter, he taught extremism to students, which the poet has denied. TID also wrongly alleges that the poetry book Navarasam contains extremist ideas.

The case had been concealed from poet’s family and his lawyers, until his lawyers were able to find out the case number yesterday. It was today that there was a legal representation for the poet in this case in courts for the first time. 

Upon the application made by Counsel for the Poet in respect of the necessity of immediate and continued medical attention to the Poet , who had been bitten by a rat while in TID Custody and is suffering from  uretral stones, the Court directed TID to provide medical attention. 

The case was called today before an acting judge and the case will be called on next Tuesday, 2nd March.

The case in Fort Magistrate Court in which facts have been reported against the poet by Criminal Investigations Department (CID) will be called tomorrow (24th February) upon a motion filed on behalf of the Poet. 

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