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Muslim doctor subject to Sinhala newspaper smear campaign detained illegally

A Muslim doctor who was falsely accused of sterilising thousands of Sinhalese women in the southern district of Kurunegala, is being detained illegally, a court heard on Friday.

The doctor was subjected to a smear campaign by Sinhala newspaper Divaina, which was forced to admit after CID investigation that the allegations had come from one of the district’s top police chiefs.

The CID said the doctor’s arrest and detention under emergency regulations did not conform to due process. He was arrested on a charge of having unexplained wealth, which the CID said was baseless.

The smear campaign against the doctor had escalated to the extent that hundreds of Sinhalese women had filed complaints claiming to have been sterilised by him. Out of 615 complaints, 468 were found to have been medically ineligible to make such a claim. Of the remaining, 11 out of 13 women who have already been subject to preliminary examinations were found to have made false complaints.

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