Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is relieved to report the release from
detention of A.R. Vanna Loshan by Sri Lanka’s Terrorism Investigation
Division (TID) on November 22.
According to the Free Media
Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, the
TID handed Loshan over to his parents after eight days in detention without
charge under the Prevention
of Terrorism Act (PTA). The TID reportedly
gave no reason for Loshan’s detention or release.
Loshan, the general
manager Vettri FM radio station, has worked as a radio journalist for
almost 10 years and took up his post at the Tamil-language station in early
“The release of A.R.
Vanna Loshan provides a glimmer of hope for Sri Lanka’s independent media that the
draconian PTA and Emergency Regulations will not be used systemically in an
effort to silence critics,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
“The IFJ stands by its principles that freedom of expression
is a universally recognised human right, and anti-terror laws must not be wielded
as a weapon to quash that right.”
release is welcome news to Sri Lanka’s
media and press freedom community, who continue to fight for the unconditional
release of senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainyagam and printing press owners N. Jesiharan and his partner Valamarthi.
On March 7
and 8, TID officials arrested Tissainayagam,
Jesiharan and Valarmathi under the PTA. The three were held without charge for
more than five months until formal indictments under the PTA were issued in
proceedings against the three are currently under way.
The IFJ joins the FMM and local organisations in acknowledging international
advocacy for the release of Loshan and in urging continued concerted action to demand
that the rights of Tissainayagam and his
colleagues be upheld, including their right to justice and protection while in
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide