IFJ and IPI Call for International Attention on Landmark Journalists' Rights Case in Sri Lanka

 

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the International Press Institute (IPI) call on colleagues

in South Asia and international press to

report loudly and widely on the current trial of senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam who is defending himself against

terrorism charges in the Colombo High Court this week.

 

In what will become a landmark case in the history of press freedom in

Sri Lanka and beyond, Tissainayagam will this week give evidence on two

charges of writing to bring discredit to the government and inciting ethnic and

racial disharmony and printing and publishing such material in the North Eastern Monthly between June 2006

and June 2007 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (1979) and one charge of

violating the 2006 Emergency Regulations with regard to allegations of aiding

and abetting terrorist organisations through raising money for the magazine.

 

A representative of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is

attending the trial this week as an independent legal observer.

 

Tissainayagam was arrested on March 7 2008 by the Terrorist

Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan police force and spent over five

months in detention without charge,

before a formal indictment was issued on August 25. Two other media workers, E-Kwality Printers owner N. Jesiharan and his wife

Valamarthi, also continue to be

held.

 

The IFJ and IPI appeal to journalists and editors to report the

proceedings of Tissainayagam’s trial

to ensure that the international spotlight remains on this watershed case that

will have ramifications worldwide.

 

 

For further

information contact:

 IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

IPI: E-mail: ipi@freemedia.at, Tel +43

1 5129011

 

 

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide

IPI is the global network of editors, media executives and leading

journalists in over 120 countries