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Wednesday October 5th, 2022

Young Journalists renew appeal to safeguard poet Ahnaf Jazeem

Cover image of Nawarasam

ECONOMYNEXT – The Young Journalists Association (YJA) is renewing its appeal to the authorities to intervene in the case of young Poet Ahnaf Jazeem who is being held under a Detention Order (DO) because they allege he has been bitten by a rat in jail.

In a letter addressed to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and released to the media, YJA appeals to the authorities to ensure the safety of Jazeem.

In its earlier appeals YJA has pointed out that Jazeem had been arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division in connection with the investigation into Attorney – at – Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.

Jazeem had printed a book called “Navarasam” containing poetry penned by him. The reason for his arrest is that this book, according to Police, is that it was found in a location said to be owned by “Save the Pearls.”

YJA says they examined the book and found that many of the poems are against extremism and the Islamic State organisation. “They are also works of high literary value,” they said.

The Criminal Investigation Department had also made a request to courts to call for a report from doctors at the Lady Ridgeway Children’s hospital whether poetry in this book would cause any harms to children’s minds.

The Association also alleged that the young poet has had no access to his lawyers.

To arrest and detain without any reasons youth like this who are against extremism and attracted to literature and arts, is to push them towards extremism, YJA said. (Colombo, March 31, 2021)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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