The Coordinator of Save the Pearls organization Mohamed Sulthan has informed the Fort Magistrate's Court that he was tortured in order to implicate Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah.
Making a statement in person and through his lawyer, Sulthan informed the Court of the torture and named three officers of the Terrorist Investigations Department as his torturers.
He was arrested for allegedly teaching extremism at a Madrasa school.
He made these revelations on the first day he was produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage after the completion of 18 months detention period.
On his production, suspect Sultan informed the Magistrate through his Counsel that he had been severely assaulted and tortured by TID officers following his arrest 18 months ago.
On being asked by Court if he knew the names of the officers, he disclosed the names of three TID officers who had allegedly assaulted him. He informed the Magistrate that he was tortured and assaulted in his spinal area and that he continues to suffer to-date as a result of the torture.
Meanwhile, the defence counsel appeared on behalf of the suspect moved Court that his client be released on bail. However, the TID officers raised objections for the application.
Accordingly, the Court ordered the suspect to be remanded till November 10. The Court further ordered the prison officials to produce the suspect before a Judicial Medical Officer and provide necessary medical treatment. The Court further ordered the DIG of the Western Province to inquire into the complaint regarding the assault and report to the Court on the next hearing date.
An indictment under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act has now been served on Hejaaz Hizbullah. According to the indictment, Hizbullah is accused of making certain statements to students in contravention of these laws.
Hizbullah is charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Earlier two teachers of the Al Zuhriya Arabic College informed the Supreme Court that they were tortured and promised leniency if they implicated Hejaaz Hizbullah. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)