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Lawyers and journalists face arrests and threats ahead of Sri Lankan election – CIVICUS

Photograph: Sri Lankan police break up ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest in Colombo last month

Human rights lawyers, activists and journalists have “faced arrests, threats and harassment” in Sri Lanka as general elections draw closer reports international non-governmental organisation, CIVICUS.

The CIVICUS monitor detailed how Sri Lankan authorities had cracked down on civil society in recent months, highlighting threats to Tamil lawyer K Guruparan, who recently resigned from his post at the University of Jaffna following military pressure and the detention of Hejaaz Hizbullah and Ramzy Razeek.

The NGO also stated that journalists “operating in fear due to intimidation and threats”. “Authorities were also brazenly surveilling journalists, using official vehicles,” the group said. “Reporters covering protests are particularly watched.”

“Reports of intimidation and surveillance were also frequently received by the Special Rapporteur in relation to peaceful protests,” it noted, pointing to a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. “This was especially prevalent with regard to memorial services commemorating disappeared persons in the north and east.”

See the full piece from CIVICUS here.

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