Andrew Bennett, Canadaâ€™s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:
â€œCanada condemns the arrest of Azad Sally, leader of Sri Lankaâ€™s newly formed Muslim Tamil National Alliance. Mr. Sally was reportedly taken into custody by Sri Lankan authorities on May 2.
â€œWe call for Mr. Sallyâ€™s immediate release. We understand his arrest is likely motivated by his work on human rights, in particular his defence of religious freedom, including the right of religious communities to practise their faith in Sri Lanka without fear of reprisals.
â€œThis latest action by the authorities suggests strongly that those who dare to criticize the Government of Sri Lanka can face consequences such as imprisonment.
â€œCanada will continue to stand by all those who courageously speak out against egregious violations of human rights and freedom of religion.â€
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