UPDATE 07/07/2021: Ahnaf has now spent over 400 days in prison, and still hasn't been charged with any crime. He is being held in squalid conditions, and his health has deteriorated significantly. Take action today to call for his immediate release. 

Sri Lankan teacher and poet Ahnaf Jazeem has been detained for more than a year without charge. 

In May 2020, Sri Lankan authorities arrested Ahnaf under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), without any charges or credible evidence presented to a court. 

He was arrested in connection to a Tamil-language collection of poems, as well as other unsubstantiated claims.

Denied a fair trial, due process, access to his family and unrestricted access to legal counsel, Ahnaf has been detained in squalid conditions and there are allegations that the authorities have attempted to coerce him to make false confessions while under interrogation.

The arrest of Ahnaf comes amidst the background of increased marginalization, discrimination and targeting of Sri Lanka’s Muslim community. In a UN report, the PTA was found to have been used to commit some of the worst human rights violations, including widespread torture and arbitrary detention. 

Thousands of Amnesty supporters around the world are taking action for Ahnaf, demanding that the Acting Inspector General of Police Mr. Chandana Depal Wickramaratne order his immediate release, guarantee his right to a fair trial, and repeal the PTA.  

Together, we can shine a light on this injustice. 

Take action and call on the Acting Inspector General of Police to release Ahnaf and ensure his right to a fair trial is upheld. 

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition
Acting Inspector General of Police
Mr. Chandana Depal Wickramaratne
Police Headquarters, Church Street, 
Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka

Dear Mr Wickramaratne,

I am deeply concerned about the situation of Sri Lankan poet Ahnaf Jazeem, who has been detained without charge since 16 May 2020 by Sri Lankan authorities. It is distressing to know that a year has passed, and no credible, admissible evidence of wrongdoing has ever been presented before a court. 

I find it alarming that he has been denied due process and fair trial rights, including unrestricted access to his lawyers and his family. These are all clear violations of rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sri Lanka is a state party.

I urge you to immediately release Ahnaf, guarantee his right to a fair trial, and repeal the PTA.  

Yours sincerely,