Iranian to be charged under penal code

The Mirihana police are to charge an Iranian national held at the detention camp at Mirihana under the penal code for stabbing two police constables who had attempted to stop a brawl that had arisen in the camp last Wednesday.

Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said the Iranian national also sustained minor injuries while being over-powered by other police officers who rushed to the scene. He claimed the man who was due to be deported was not in a stable mental condition. The deportee is said to have been upset that while three other Iranians were deported he remained at the camp.

The SSP said they had earlier planned to deport the suspect, but had now decided to charge him under the country’s penal code. The Iranian identified as Jaffari Mamagahami 41, was arrested last month at the Katunayake Airport and produced before the Negombo Magistrate for attempting to commit suicide at the airport premises.

On May 12 the Negombo Magistrate ordered the suspect who was held at the Negombo prison to be discharged and handed over to the Immigration and Emigration detention camp at Mirihana where he was to be held until he was deported.

It is learned that the Iranian suspect was further detained last Wednesday as he had not received an air ticket to enable his return to his country, while the three other Iranians who had been held at the detention camp together with him had been deported last Wednesday. The Iranian Embassy had made arrangements for their air travel.

A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Colombo told The Sunday Times they had been co-ordinating with the police to ensure the rights of the Iranian national. “We have been working closely with the Immigration and Emigration Department and the police to see that protocols are met in regard to handling one of our national’s. We had previously made plans to deport the suspect. However there had been certain delays that led to him overstaying,” he said.

It is learned the incident had taken place when the Iranian had got into an argument with another inmate at the camp which turned into a brawl. The two constables who were injured had apparently stopped the brawl and been talking to the Iranian for nearly 15 minutes when the angry Iranian had then run into the camp with the police on his heels and led to the Iranian stabbing the two constables with a knife.
The two constables who underwent surgery are said to be out of danger.


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