PEN International is deeply concerned by the ongoing legal proceedings against award-winning writer, Shakthika Sathkumara, accused of inciting religious hatred and violating international human rights Law under Section 3(1) of Sri Lanka’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act No. 56 of 2007 (ICCPR Act 2007) and Article 291B of the Penal Code. Sathkumara is still awaiting the decision of the Attorney General as to whether he will formally be charged. His last court hearing took place on 10 December 2019. Sathkumara’s next hearing before a Magistrate is scheduled for 19 May 2020. If formally charged and convicted, Sathkumara could face up to 10 years in prison. On 2 December 2019, Sathkumara was reappointed to his position as development officer at the Maspotha Divisional Secretariat, but warned that he may face a disciplinary inquiry. PEN International believes that Shakthika Sathkumara is being targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and calls for the investigation against him to be dropped.
Please send appeals :
- Welcoming the news that Sathkumara has been reappointed as a development officer at the Maspotha Divisional Secretariat, while requesting that the administration does not subject him to a disciplinary inquiry;
- Urging the authorities to drop the investigation into award-winning novelist Shakthika Sathkumara immediately and unconditionally;
- Calling on the authorities to take steps to safeguard freedom of expression in line with international standards and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Sri Lanka is a State Party.
Send appeals to:
Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Fax :- +94 112 34 0340
Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa
Prime Minister’s Office No: 58, Sir Ernest De Silva Mawatha, Colombo 07 Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 112 575310 / +94 112 574143
Mr. Dappula de Livera
Fax: +94 112 436421
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
Dr. Deepika Udagama – Chairperson
Fax: +94 112 505591
Send copies to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in your own country. Embassy addresses may be found here: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/srilanka.
Please reach out to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic representatives in Sri Lanka, calling on them to raise Shakthika Sathkumara’s case in bilateral fora.
Please inform PEN International of any action you take and of any responses you receive.