Stagnation in the case against Sri Lankan rationalist Shakthika Sathkumara

  • post Type / Action Alert - Live
  • Date / 1 October 2020

Over the course of the last 16 months since the police concluded their investigation, the Sri Lankan Attorney General’s Office has consistently failed to instruct the police as to whether the state will press charges against rationalist and writer Shakthika Sathkumara. Sathkumara must now wait until 9 February 2021 for his next hearing in court.

The investigation into Sathkumara follows a complaint filed by the Buddhist groups that his short-story ‘Ardha’ (meaning ‘Half’) hurt the religious feelings of Buddhists and advocated hatred.

Shakthika Sathkumara with his family shortly after his release in August 2019

Arrested on 1 April 2019, he was arbitrarily detained for 127 days while police conducted their investigation. Despite the completion of their investigation on 25 June 2019, Sathkumara continues to await the decision of the Attorney General as to whether he will be charged. If charged and convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Humanists International stands against the incitement of violence or hatreds, however, having reviewed the content of Sathkumara’s story, the organization does not believe that the story constitutes incitement to violence. Humanists International believes that Sathkumara is being targeted solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression and calls for the Sri Lankan authorities to drop the case immediately and unconditionally.

To take action on behalf of rationalist and writer Shakthika Sathkumara see:

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