Bar Association of Sri Lanka demands withdrawal of Anti-Terrorism and Online Safety Bills
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) on Saturday (September 23) called on the Government to immediately withdraw the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill and Online Safety Bill, firmly declaring that they would seriously impinge on the liberty and freedom of the people.
Following is the full statement of the BASL released on September 23:
The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) calls upon the Government to immediately withdraw the Anti-Terrorism Bill and the Online Safety Bill which were published in the Gazettes issued on 15th and 18th September respectively, and not to proceed with the said Bills.
At a meeting of the Bar Council held today, it was unanimously resolved that both Bills seriously impinge on the liberty and freedom of the people and will have a serious impact on democracy and the rule of law in the country.
It is observed that both Bills have been introduced without due consultation with the stakeholders including the BASL. Further, the BASL’s observations on the previous version of the Anti-Terrorism Bill have also not been considered.
The BASL calls upon the government to have a meaningful consultation with the relevant stakeholders including the BASL and to take into consideration their concerns prior to proceeding to Gazette such Bills, which have a serious impact on the community at large.
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