The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with a fundamental rights petition filed by the Ukrainian captain of the Avant Garde ship, challenging his alleged illegal arrest and prolonged detention.
The petitioner, Ukrainian Gennadiy Gavrylov, the captain of ‘MV Avant Garde’, is challenging his arrest in early October 2015, purportedly outside Sri Lankan territorial waters and his continued detention at the Galle remand prison.
The petitioner, a father of one, who is being detained at Galle remand prison, claims that he had absolutely no political affiliations to any group or party in Sri Lanka.
The petitioner stated that he was unfortunate to be embroiled in a political tug of war prevailing in the country. The petitioner cited the Officer-in-Charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), CID Director, DIG in charge of the CID and Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd. (RALL), a Government-owned business undertaking affiliated to the Defence Ministry, Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS), Sri Lanka Shipping Company Ltd., Lanka Maritime Services Ltd., the Defence Secretary, and the Attorney General as respondents.
The petitioner stated that MV Avant Garde, which was chartered by Avant Garde Maritime Services belonging to the Sri Lanka Shipping Company, had been seized in international waters in early October 2015 in the wake of the change of Government.
He alleged that some of the respondents subjected him to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment through the false accusation that he had entered Sri Lankan territorial waters in the vessel he had taken command of on July 24, 2015.
Manohara de Silva PC with Arinda Wijesurendra appeared for the petitioner. Romesh de Silva PC with Kuvera de Zoysa PC appeared for Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) and the Sri Lanka Shipping Company Ltd.. Deputy Solicitor General Ayesha Jinasena appeared for the CID, the Defence Secretary and the Attorney General.