Sri Lanka Police Counter-terrorism and Investigation Division (TID) filed a case against Poet Ahnaf Jazeem in Colombo Magistrate Court No.08 (Case No.B44230/08/2020) on December 11, alleging that the poet, a teacher employed in the School of Excellence international school, which premises were situated in a building owned by the ‘Save the Pearls” charity, has taught students extremism by showing videos of ISIS.
Lawyer arrested under the PTA, Hejaaz Hizbullah is the President of the Save the Pearls Charity.
The TID allege that 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, the Poet would be subjected to 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 the Prevention of Terrorism Act and has been 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 alleges that the poetry book Navarasam contains extremist ideas. The case will be called again on March 2.