‘Black January’ Campaign Against Attacks on Journalists in Sri Lanka

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined the ‘Black

January’ campaign against attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka, organized by theAlliance of

Media Organizations.

 

The month of January

2012, has been nominated as ‘Black January’ in Sri Lanka, by the Alliance of Media

Organizations and its supporters in the national and international communities.

 

The campaign is a

response to the attacks on the media that have occurred in the month of January

in the past three years, and the failure of the government of Sri Lanka to

bring to account those responsible for attacks on numerous journalists.

 

These attacks include the murder of Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha

Wickrematunga in 2009, the disappearance of political columnist Prageeth

Ekneligoda in 2010, the attack on Sirasa media network in 2009 and the

brutal attack on television producer Lal

Hemantha Mawalage in 2008.

 

In recent years, the month of January has also

witnessed the murder of Tamil parliamentarian T Maheshwaran, the abduction of

Akuna journalists Sisira Priyankara, Nihal Serasinghe and Lalith Seneviratne

and the former army commander Sarath Fonseka’s characterisation of certain

journalist as “traitors”.

 

On January 25,

journalists and media workers all over the world will unite in observance of

‘Black January’, culminating in a series

of public protests in Sri Lanka’s

capital, Colombo.

 

The IFJ, in solidarity

with the Free Media Movement and the South Asia Media Solidarity Network

(SAMSN) join our colleagues in Sri

Lanka, in urging the Government of Sri Lanka

to conduct proper investigations into these serious attacks on the media.

 

The IFJ reminds the

Government of Sri Lanka of its deeply disturbing record of default in bringing

to account individuals, state agencies and non-state actors who increasingly

make journalism and the dissemination of information for the wider public good,

a deeply hazardous pursuit.

 

 “The violence against journalists in Sri Lanka and the continuing disregard by the

government of Sri Lanka

in addressing these crimes is unacceptable”, IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ urges concrete

action by authorities in Sri Lanka to take heed of today’s ‘Black January’

protests and address acts of violence against journalists and media workers”

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific