Shakthika granted bail; indictment awaits

After over four months in remand custody, fiction writer Shakthika Sathkumara was granted bail by the Kurunegala High Court today (5).

Sathkumara, who was arrested over a short story published on Facebook, was granted a cash bail of Rs. 100,000 and two sureties of Rs. 100,000 each.

Attorney-at-law C. W. W. Ratnayake of the legal team representing Sathkumara headed by senior lawyer Chaminda Athukorala told RepublicNext that the next step will be to face the indictment served by the Attorney General, which he said would take time.

The writer was arrested on 1 April under provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act for allegedly inciting inter-faith violence through a short story titled ‘Ardha’ about sexual abuse in rural Buddhist temples.

His arrest came under widespread criticism as an attack on freedom of expression, with the ICCPR Act itself becoming a matter of controversy.

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