Sri Lanka-The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the five leading journalists’ organizations in Sri Lanka to demand that senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who spent his 100th day in detention on June 15, be released as no evidence has been provided to sustain a charge against him.
Tissainayagam, the editor of the newly formed OutreachSL.com news website, was arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan police force on March 7, 2008. The reason for his arrest is unknown because he has not been charged.
The IFJ and its affiliate, the Free Media Movement (FMM), hold grave concerns for Tissainayagam’s health and mental well-being.
On March 19, Tissainayagam filed a fundamental rights case based on pre-existing medical conditions. However, court hearings continue to be postponed or interrupted by purported administrative delays.
The latest order was issued by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan police force on June 5, detaining Tissainayagam for a further 90 days under the Emergency Regulations (2005) Act.
The TID has shown an alarming disregard for due judicial process. It has continuously failed to present Tissainayagam for scheduled court hearings.
Tissainayagam has a serious eye condition, but has been denied access to medical help. He has also been denied regular access to legal representatives and family members, as well as information about his case and the judicial process.
The IFJ calls on the international press freedom and human rights communities to lend their voices to a joint campaign by the IFJ and the five leading journalists’ organizations; the Free Media Movement (FMM), the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union (FMETU), all IFJ affiliates, as well as the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF) and the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) to demand that Tissainayagam be released if there is no evidence to charge him.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries