Poet Ahanaf Jasim granted bail after 19 months, but not allowed to return home

The Puttalam High Court today (15) ordered the release on bail of Ahanaf Jasim, a young poet who had been detained and remanded for 19 months on the allegation of spreading extremism through a poem book.

Accordingly, Jasim was released on three sureties of Rs. 300,000 each and ordered to appear before the Puttalam Office of the Terrorism Investigation Division on the first and last Sunday of every month, adhered to the bail conditions. A foreign travel ban was also imposed against the young poet.

Jasim was arrested on May 16, 2020 on the allegation of spreading extremism through his poetry, based on a self-penned poem book recovered in a spot in Puttalam owned by ‘Save the Pearl,’ the company which held affiliations with Hejaaz Hisbullah, the lawyer who was arrested in alleged connection with the Easter Sunday Carnage.

When the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed on Jasim’s behalf in the Supreme Court was taken up, the Attorney General’s Office had informed the Court that it held no objection to granting him bail.

The young poet was granted bail by the Puttalam High Court, but was not allowed to return home as he was taken back to prison by the prison officials around 4.15 pm today on the justification that Jasim is still considered remanded in connection with the pending trial in the Colombo Magistrate Court.

Despite the lawyers’ efforts in explaining to the prison officials that the indictment was filed in the Puttalam High Court involving the same case pending in the Colombo Magistrate Court and that bail was granted in the same case, Jasim was taken back to prison denying the interpretation, sources disclosed.

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