- Defence Counsel maintained that the entire case against Jazeem was a fabrication
- Poet Jazeem was arrested on May 16th, 2020 at his home in Chilavathurai
By Lakmal Sooriyagoda
Poet and teacher Ahnaf Jazeem who was held in custody for more than one and a half years in the investigation of Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah was granted bail yesterday by Puttalam High Court.
26-year-old poet Ahnaf Jazeem was arrested in May 2020, a month following Hizbullah’s arrest after his book Nawarasam was found in a building belonging to Save the Pearls in Puttalam. The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) had arrested Ahnaf Jazeem under the Prevention of Terrorism Act over an allegation that he had promoted extremism and violence in children and aided and abetted Muslim extremism through his literary work. Jazeem was indicted in the Puttalam High Court in November for allegedly making extremist speeches to students at the School of Excellence he taught.
Defence Counsel maintained that the entire case against Jazeem was a fabrication. Hizbullah was also indicted for similar offenses. Three suspects including two teachers of the Al-Zuhriya Arabic College had informed Supreme Court and the Fort Magistrate’s Court that they were threatened and promised leniency if they implicated Hizbullah.
The Attorney Generals Department earlier informed the Supreme Court that they would not object to bail for Jazeem. When the case was taken up before Puttalam High Court, Ahnaf Jazeem was ordered to be released on bail following the application of no objection by the Attorney General.
Poet Ahnaf Jazeem was arrested on May 16th, 2020 at his home in Chilavathurai. A Fundamental Rights petition had also been filed on behalf of Jazeem challenging his arrest, detention and the denial of his right to meet lawyers.
- A Fundamental Rights petition had also been filed on behalf of Jazeem challenging his arrest, detention and the denial of his right to meet lawyers