6 December, 2020

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150 Lawyers Berate BASL For Failing To Take Firm Stand On Arrest Of Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah

A massive group of Sri Lankan lawyers have petitioned the Bar Association of Sri Lanka about the unlawful detention and lack of access to counsel for Attorney at Law Hejaaz Hizbullah, who was arrested by the CID on 14th April.

Hejaaz Hizbullah

The letter expresses deep concern and perturbation that the BASL is yet to take a “firm and open stand” on the matter of the attorney Hizbullah’s arrest and detention, even though “the rights of all attorneys-at-law to undertake protection of the rights of their clients were jeopardised by this state of affairs.”

The 150 lawyers urged immediate action to remedy the situation and restore confidence in the ability of legal professionals to practice by having access to their clients, without being shut out and obstructed by police officers or any other authority without legal basis.

“A free, fearless and independent legal profession being one of the most important features of a democracy to protect rights of individuals, it is the duty of the leadership of the professional body to do its utmost to defend the ability to function as lawyers, without obstruction, fear or favour,” the letter by lawyers admonished.

150 lawyers put their signatures to the petition raising deep concern about the denial of his right to due access to legal and counsel and his family.

The lawyers noted that the detention of Hizbullah was a “serious” situation. “Eight days have passed since the arrest and detention of Mr. Hizbullah” the letter said.

“Neither reasons for his arrest nor provisions of law under which he is continued to be detained has been officially served upon him. This violates the basic Constitutional shield from being arrested except according to procedure established by law and the right to be informed of the reason for the arrest (Article 13(1) of the Constitution),” the lawyers said.

The letter also refers to the fact that Hizbullah is yet to be produced before a magistrate to date in violation of the right to judicial oversight of his custody.

“We believe that as the professional body entrusted with safeguarding a conducive environment for its members to engage in professional duties freely and fearlessly, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) should take swift, effective and meaningful action where legal guarantees of its members are denied,” the letter said.

The Attorneys at Law called upon the BASL to take necessary action immediately to ensure Hizbullah’s rights are guaranteed and due process is followed.

To read the letter by the lawyers to the BASL click here

(By Chinthika De Silva)

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Latest comments

  • 61
    11

    Why is the BASL so hesitant and shy to stand up for one of their Colleagues? One day it could be one of them, and it would be wise to stand up , and condemn such a racist move by the Rajapaksa’s. There is safety in numbers, and if there is any sense of fairness, and decency, in our esteemed lawyers, they would all loudly make their voices heard, and speak up for one of theirs. They should be outraged about the treatment of a colleague.

    Mr. Hizbullah has (so much like the Muslim doctor) been treated shabbily, not given proper legal rights, and treated like a criminal. This is a political arrest, and unless they produce some kind of hard evidence, he should be released.

    If Gota can pardon and release a brutal murderer, what is the problem releasing Mr.Hizbullah who seems to have done no wrong?

    BASL members need to grow a spine and speak out.

    • 8
      37

      Mr. Ashan,
      /
      Don’t worry.
      Hejaaz Hizbullah will be shipped to Guantanamo Bay soon.
      It’s situated in your democratic and legal heaven.

      • 7
        5

        S. C. Pasqual

        “Hejaaz Hizbullah will be shipped to Guantanamo Bay soon.
        It’s situated in your democratic and legal heaven.”

        Its leader wants to treat Corona patients/victims with Disinfectant injected into their body and/or red hot beams generated inside their anatomy.

        Being a great comparator of values you should encourage single handed Shavendra the medicine man, the great dictator national hangman, and his goons to enforce a strict regime of the above internally taken treatment.

        These measures would keep up the little islanders in par with USA.

    • 33
      35

      This is utter nonsense.
      /
      The man has been arrested in relation to alleged terrorism offenses.
      /
      Special conditions can’t be expepected because the man is a lawyer, or because he is a Muslim.There is a contradiction in the petition which first says Hizbullah has not been afforded legal aid, then says he is given access to a lawyer 15 mts, a day!
      /
      Names of some anti-Sri Lankan can be seen in the list including leading NGO ladies and lawyers who represented other anti-SL conspirators.
      /
      It must be impressed upon Muslims that they can’t expect special treatment or exceptions to the law of the country, or executive orders on issues such as burial of COVID19 dead.
      /
      This nonsense has to stop..

      • 11
        4

        Do tell us when and where the Muslims have asked for special treatment. This is about a group of lawyers (Not all Muslims) asking for basic RIGHTS, that any other unfairly arrested Sri Lankan would be given. Are you having problems comprehending the article? The letter has not mentioned anything about Muslims.
        Yeah, the Rajapaksa’s should stop this nonsense.

        “The Attorneys at Law called upon the BASL to take necessary action immediately to ensure Hizbullah’s rights are guaranteed and due process is followed”.

        Learn to read carefully, without coming to your own (anti Muslim) conclusion.

  • 24
    27

    Extreme measures are needed to fight modern Muslim terrorism.
    Don’t forget that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was himself captured and released on legal grounds very early in his life.

    • 13
      5

      S. C. Pasqual the great comparator

      “Extreme measures are needed to fight modern Muslim terrorism.”

      What sort of measures are needed to fight growing Sinhala/Buddhist fanaticism (fascism) which has been groomed, natured, tolerated, practiced, ……………. over 72 years in this island?

  • 28
    14

    The Judiciary has lost its credibility when its verdicts are treated as a joke by the president. How can one who is not a lawyer overrule the decision of 5 senior judges sentencing a murderer to death? After GOTA become president the lawyers and Judiciary not respected. It is a pure act of political revenge. The credibility of the country is deteriorating. The government lie to take over and have absolute power .

    • 13
      27

      Don’t bullshit Mr. Kuviam,
      /
      President has all the power to pardon an individual when he is considered have paid their debt to society in full.
      /
      SL is no difference than any other country which have the same system.
      /
      In Canada they even removes all information about the conviction for which an individual received the pardon from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
      /
      In any country a soldier is considered a special situation as he is/was/will be willing to do the ultimate sacrifice for the country.
      /
      A fact that you want to hurt Sinhalese will not work under this president.

      • 8
        6

        S. C. Pasqual the great comparator

        “President has all the power to pardon an individual when he is considered have paid their debt to society in full.”

        Sunil Rathnayake served less than 5 years in prison.

        For killing 8 innocent persons Patriot Sunil served 5 years.
        Had he killed 1 person he would have served approximately 7.5 months.

        Good bargain for war criminals.
        However there are thousands of war criminals yet to be charged and sentenced.
        Now switch on your comparator mode.

        “In any country a soldier is considered a special situation as he is/was/will be willing to do the ultimate sacrifice for the country.”

        Soldiers are not special.
        I suggest you grow up.

      • 8
        6

        S.C.Pasqual another Rajapakshe lackey who has been brainwashed. Thanks to blind worshippers such as yourself that murders, rapists, and robbers walk free.

        The president does have the power to pardon a person convicted, however in most civilised countries a pardon usually, that takes into consideration lot of deliberations before someone is pardoned. Not pardoned for a Presidents or Political parties brownie points. In SL the recent pardons of convicted killers, makes a mockery of Justice system.

        Secondly a Soldier has a code to abide by, they cannot kill unarmed civilians especially children.

        Lastly with regards to this lawyers arrest, Mr. Hizbullah has not yet been produced before a magistrate, to which he is entitled per the Constitution of Sri Lanka and human rights norms, and it is unclear under which law Mr. Hizbullah is being detained. If Mr. Hizbullah is being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. If this is the case, he should have been produced before a magistrate before the conclusion of seventy-two hours or a detention order should have been issued. In the case of Mr. Hizbullah neither appears to have taken place, which could render the arrest and detention, and hence constitute a violation of Article 13 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

  • 12
    8

    Ramadan Kareem
    to All Muslims
    Asharites/Mutazilites & Shites.
    Important Message to common Muslims,.avoid making remarks or comments on Social medias sbout the above case or on behalf of any politicians or any Elites , we are not from their camp and they do not need us .
    Thee other issue is please do not try to distribute any charity or dry rations to other Communities. common Muslims duty is to share whatever they have or can afford with the poor muslims , there are plenty who are almost starving .
    After doing your duty to the poor among the community if you have excess ( Which I doubt very much , as the poor and middle class who are hit badly by Covid 19 and are the largest numbers among Muslims) but if incase you do have excess , do not try to distribute it by yourselves , approach a Church or Buddhist Temple and inquire if they want it to distribute to their poor, if you are turned down, please hand it over to a mosque.
    please do not accomany any Islamic Financial institutions or any organizations ,who may be trying to distribute to members of other communities with personal agendas in.mind, you know what.happened at Cancer hospital and what is happening in India today .

  • 11
    5

    Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism is at its peak which started at the end of 2009. Muslims are the target since then and now it is on the peak. This operation is lead by Mahinda Family. In this operation they bought few Muslims as well. I don’t know whether those Muslims understood or not they helped for this operation. Easter Bombing of Christian church which was planned very well. The purpose was to put the blame on the Muslim community as a whole but without any loss to Buddhist Sinhala but to give an image to all Sinhalese that it is Muslims are on war with Sinhalese. In that angle it was a successful operation for Mahinda family. They got full support from all Sinhalese that lead to the massive victory in the Presidential election. They need more Sinhala votes to get two third in the parliament to amend the constitution enable them to make sure that none other than Mahinda family become president and the president is the supreme power even to change a woman to man and vice versa. I don’t know whether those Muslims who fall into the trap understood the truth behind Mahinda Family.

    • 3
      0

      The timing of those attacks are questionable. Before Easter the population was not happy about GR’s intended candidacy, remembering the bad old times, and all that changed with these terrorist attacks. Within a few days, he knew the people were afraid, and he announced his candidacy, even as an American dual citizen. From then onwards, it was a breeze for him. Naive people thought the man was the only one to save them from these terrorists.

      Yes, it was an attempt to set the minority religions against each other, and shield the majority. Muslims and Christians have never had any issues with each other, and respected each other for decades. If these terrorist scum wanted to cause problems, they would have picked on the Buddhists, who have always discriminated the Muslims, attacking their homes and businesses, and killing them in their Mosques. So this attack on Churches do not make sense, why didn’t they attack the Temples instead?

      The question is, what part did Sirisena play in all this? He ignored ALL the warnings, even from other nations, and did sweet nothing, to stop this, which he could have, and should have. He was conveniently in Singapore when the day came.
      Now he is in league with the Rajpaksa’s again. It should make intelligent people think long and hard, and look for answers.

  • 1
    1

    The BASL may do well to read Pastor Niemoller during the Nazi regime in World War11……….

    FIRST they came for me and I did not speak out because I WAS NOT A jew.
    THEN they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I WAS NOT A communist.
    THEN they came for the Trade-Unionists and I did not speak out because I WAS NOT A trade-unionist.
    THEN they came for me and there was none left to speak out for ME.

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