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March 17, 2014

Sri Lankans call to #FreeRukiAndPriest

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

Sri Lankan national K.M. Ruki Fernando speaks on the state of conflict in Sri Lanka, during a press conference in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines 15 April 2009. (EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA)

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: