Human rights activist grilled at airport

Human rights activist Ruky Fernando on his way for an international seminar in Britain was questioned at the Bandaranaike International Airport by the intelligence service, a civil rights movement said.

Mr. Fernando was on his way to attend a human rights session at Britain’s York University when he was questioned for about one and half hours, said Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director for the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE).

He said Mr. Fernando was released a few minutes before the flight after the intervention of lawyers.  Mr Fernando made representations regarding a human rights campaigner Balendran Jayakumari who was arrested for harbouring an armed man in Kilinochchi in 2014.

Mr. Tennakoon said as a civil rights organisation they were condemning the questioning of Mr Fernando at the airport.

He said the questions posed to him included details about the session he was attending and his personal life.

Police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said he was not aware of the incident and would make inquiries from the relevant unit.