Prominent Muslim leader in Sri Lanka arrested for 2019 Easter bombing

by Jordyn Pair · Apr 27th, 2021 3:26 pm
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Last Updated Apr 28th, 2021 at 9:48 pm

A prominent Muslim leader in Sri Lanka and his brother were arrested over the weekend in connection with a 2019 Easter Sunday bombing that killed nearly 270 people.

Former cabinet minister and the leader of an opposition party in Parliament, Rishad Bathiudeen, and his brother, Reyaj Bathiudeen, were arrested due to evidence connecting them to the attacks, according to a police spokesperson. The Islamic State had originally taken responsibility for the attacks.

Rishad Bathiudeen said in a Facebook post that the arrest was unjust.

"The CID has been standing outside my house in Boudhaloka Mawatha since [1:30 a.m.] today attempting to arrest me without a charge," he wrote. "... I have been in Parliament, and have cooperated with all lawful authorities until now. This is unjust."

His lawyer also said the arrests were politically motivated. No one has yet been charged with the attack, as the suicide bombers were killed during the attack.

The arrest of the two brothers follow the head of the Sri Lanka Roman Catholic Church accusing the government of stalling the investigation into the attacks.


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