The Stream

Sri Lankans call to #FreeRukiAndPriest

Netizens demand the release of two human rights activists arrested by country’s anti-terrorist police.

Human rights advocates are calling for the release of two prominent Sri Lankan activists arrested under terrorism laws. Ruki Fernando and Praveen Mahesan, a Catholic priest, were detained without charge Sunday in the northern town of Killnochchi. 

“The two suspects were arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act for trying to cause communal disharmony and disturbance,” according to a police spokesperson. The arrests come as Sri Lanka is facing increasing international pressure to address alleged human rights abuses related to its civil war, which ended nearly five years ago.

The detentions have stirred outcry online: