Senior Journalist and Political Critic/Analyst Kusal Perera has filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court against the threat on Freedom of Expression and possible arrest using International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act No. 56 of 2007.
Senior DIG Commandant of STF M.R Latiff, DIG Kamal Silva, Rtd. AVM A.B. Sosa, OIC Organised Crime Prevention Division, the IGP, Wijeya Newspapers, Convenor of Free Media Movement and the Attorney General has been named as respondents to the petition.
The journalist demands interim order from the Supreme Court restraining from arresting him and/or taking steps under the said act in respect of the article published in the Daily Mirror Newspaper on My 17 under his name.
Below is the full statement made by Journalist Kusal Perera:
A Fundamental Rights Petition was filed today (28 June, 2019) in the Supreme Court by me, requesting an interim order restraining from arresting me and/or taking any steps under the ICCPR Act No.56 of 2007 “in respect of the article published in the Daily Mirror newspaper of the 17th May 2019" under my name.
The petition has named Senior DIG Commandant of STF M.R Latiff, DIG Kamal Silva, Rtd. AVM A.B. Sosa, OIC Organised Crime Prevention Division, the IGP, Wijeya Newspapers, Convenor of Free Media Movement and the Attorney General as Respondents.
The petition prays for -
b. Grant and issue an interim order restraining the 1st and 2nd Respondents and/or their officers and/or agents from arresting the Petitioner and/or taking any steps in respect of the Petitioner in respect of the article published in the Daily Mirror newspaper of the 17th May 2019 under his name, until the final
determination of this application;
c. Grant and issue an interim order directing the 1st and 2nd Respondents to produce copies of all statements recorded pertaining the alleged complaint against the Petitioner, including the complaint of the 3rd Respondent and the copies of the B-reports filed in the Magistrate’s Court;
d. Grant and issue an interim order restraining from filing plaint, charges and/or indictment against the
Petitioner on the purported allegations referred to above in respect of the aforesaid publication, until the final determination of this application;
e. Declare that the 1st and/or 2nd Respondents and/or the State have infringed and/or in imminent infringement of the Fundamental Rights of the Petitioner as guaranteed by Articles 10, 12(1), 13(1), 13(2), 14(1)(a) and 14(1)(g) of the Constitution ;
f. Declare that the decision of one or more of the Respondents to investigate and/or arrest and/or institute criminal proceedings and/or prosecute, the Petitioner on the matters set out in the Petition, is unlawful, arbitrary, irrational, illegal, and capricious, null and void and no force and/or avail of law;
g. Direct one or more of the Respondents to refrain from arresting and/or instituting criminal proceedings and/or prosecuting the Petitioner on the matters set out in the Petition;
h. Make such further and other just and equitable orders as Your Lordships Court shall seem meet, in the circumstances of this application, under and in terms of Article 126 (4) of the Constitution;
i. Grant compensation in a sum of Rs 10 million and/or a sum determined by your Lordships’ Court;
j. Grant costs;
The FR Petition was filed by Attorney Saliya Pieris PC, instructed by Attorney Manjula Balasooriya and Assisted by Attorney at Law Thanuka Madhawa Nandasiri.