The trial of detained human rights lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, which was due to take place on Wednesday, has been postponed to February 24, 2021. He has been detained for over six months since being arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in April, and has remained in detention without charges or any credible evidence being submitted before a court.
A campaign group dedicated to the release of the Muslim lawyer, Justice For Hejaaz, tweeted:
“#Hejaaz Hizbullah's case which was scheduled to be taken up at the Fort Magistrate’s court today has been rescheduled to the 24th February 2021, due the new wave of Covid 19. #lawyersindetention #srilanka #JusticeForHejaaz #EasterAttackSL”
“This nearly 4-month delay is very distressing to the family owing to the fact that there is still no proof that Hejaaz was in any way in the Easter Sunday Attacks.”
“The 40 year old attorney-at-Law has been in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department since 14th April 2020. A new detention order for 90-days was issued on the 16th of October. #JusticeForHejaaz”
See tweet here.
Earlier this month, rights group expressed their concerns over his arbitrary detention. Some suggested Hizbullah was deliberately targeted due to his work on interfaith relations and reconciliation amid rising Islamophobia on the island.