Ramzy Razeek is a social media commentator and a member of Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority. On April 2, 2020, he posted on his Facebook page that Muslims in Sri Lanka should engage in an “ideological jihad,” using the pen and keyboard as weapons, to counter hate propaganda against Muslims by extremists from the Sinhalese Buddhist majority community. A week later, he was arrested by the police who cited the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act and the Computer Crimes Act as grounds for his arrest.
The ICCPR Act was passed by the government to implement its obligation to protect civil and political rights under the ICCPR, to which Sri Lanka is a party. He was released on bail on September 17 but the criminal investigation against him has not been closed. If convicted under the ICCPR Act, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Ramzy’s case is one of several in which the government has misused the ICCPR Act to restrain freedom of expression instead of protecting the right to it. We need your help to get the Sri Lankan government to drop all charges against Ramzy Razeek and to cease this misuse of the ICCPR Act.