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Justice Minister Sabry Says PTA Is Unlikely To Ever Be Abolished

Sri Lanka Updates
1. Government Amplifies Prevention Of Terrorism Act In Sri Lanka
2. Under New PTA Regulations, 11 Muslim Groups Banned in Sri Lanka
3. Government Begins Framework For Anti-Conversion Laws
4. Unlawful PTA Allows For Detention Up To 18 Months Without Trial Or Charge In Sri Lanka
5. U.S. Congress Introduces Bipartisan Resolution On Sri Lanka To Seek Justice And Accountability 
6. Government Moves Forward With Burqa And Niqab Ban
7. Res 413 Has Been Sent To The U.S House Foreign Affairs Committee
8. European Parliament Threatens To Pull GSP+ Status If PTA Not Repealed
9. UNHRC Chief Says Government Policies Have Targeted Muslims
10. Sri Lankan President Pardons 94, Including Convicted Murderer
11. China’s Oppression Of Muslims Could Be Influencing Srilanka
12. PTA Detainee Hejaaz Hizbullah Has Been Declared A Prisoner Of Conscience
13. Threat Of Intergovernmental Militarization Looms
14. Right To Protest Under Threat As 42 Arrested
15. Rapporteur Says That De-radicalization Regulations Could Lead To Silence Of Those Who Criticize Government
16. Covid Burial Site Already Reaching Capacity As Additional Space Confirmed
17. Opposition Party Accuses President Of Becoming Authoritarian
18. UN Special Rapporteur Says PTA Detainee Hejaaz Hizbullah Has Been Wrongfully Connected To Easter 2019
19. Prison Conditions Poor, Overcrowded; Detainees Tell Stories Of Sexual Assault And Torture
20. President Rajapaksa meets with UN Secretary General Antony Guterres
21. BBS Monk Thero Makes Hateful Comments About Muslims On Television
22. India, China, And Sri Lanka Are Connected In Targeted Oppression
23. Justice Minister Sabry Says PTA Is Unlikely To Ever Be Abolished

The UK’s High Commissioner Sarah Hulton met with Sri Lankan Public Security Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara and discussed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). During their meeting, they talked about reforms to the PTA, reforms to Sri Lankan policing, and how to increase diversity and representation in the country. There were talks of increasing public security.

Instead of reforming the PTA, many NGOs, individuals, and the European Parliament have called to completely abolish or repeal it.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that it was unlikely to ever be abolished. He did say that he and the President Rajapaksa agreed that parts of the PTA which were outdated needed to be revisited and they had formed a subcommittee to do this. Sabry justified his reasoning by saying he won’t cater to the international community when he claims the PTA protects national security. He used 2019’s Easter bombings and the Civil War as examples of why he and the current government want to keep the PTA which has unlawfully detained countless people.

The full interview and video with Justice Minister Ali Sabry are here.

PTA detained poet Ahnaf Jazeem’s mother was able to see him for the first time since he was unlawfully arrested over a year ago. Their October 9 meeting was short and supervised, limited to only ten minutes.  In September, his mother had sent a written letter to the PTA Advisory Board asking for his release.

While Jazeem, human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah and others remain unlawfully detained under the PTA, Rishad Bathiudeen has been granted bail. The former parliamentarian was arrested this April with cases regarding the 2019 Easter bombings and also the death of a 16 year old domestic maid at his home in Colombo. In exchange for his release, he may not travel outside the country, his passport has been confiscated, and Rs. 10 million rupees were paid.

On October 14, as Bathiudeen was permitted bail, Hizbullah was not. Hizbullah’s daughter took her first steps while he remained unlawfully detained in prison.

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UK High Commissioner discusses PTA, Police reforms with Minister Weerasekara
Mother allowed to visit detained poet for first time
PTA Meeting
UK High Commissioner
Rishad granted bail over two cases
Prevention of Terrorism Act; We Cannot play to the gallery – Mohamed Ali Sabry

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