The order delivered by Colombo High Court on Wednesday (5) observed that the purported statement said to have been made by Stand-up comedian Nathasha Edirisooriya does not, on the face of it (ex-facie) come under section 3(1) of ICCPR for advocating national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to hostility or violence.

Colombo High Court Adithya Patabendige, while ordering Natasha Edirisooriya to be released on a personal bail of Rs.100,000, observed that remanding this suspect until now under the ICCPR Act is not an appropriate condition.

The High Court Judge said the aspiration of the legislature in introducing this act was to enact appropriate legislation

to give effect to those civil and political rights referred to

in the UN Covenant.

“The judiciary must apply the judicial mind and take necessary action regarding the charges against a suspect arrested for committing a cognizable offence by the investigative officers instead of remanding a suspect”, the judge said.

The High Court Judge further observed that there is no adequate evidence to support that the alleged statement made by the suspect on April 1, 2023, has incited hostility or violence by the target group (audience).