Photo by ethili.te
Mullaitivu Press Club has condemned the brutal assault and torture of journalist Viswalingham Viswachandran for taking a photo of a Mullivaikkal road sign.
Viswachandran was beaten by four Sri Lankan military personnel who used palmyra sticks wrapped with barbed wire. The journalist was severely beaten and had his camera and phone seized and had his motorcycle damaged. He suffered serious injuries and was later admitted into Mullaitivu hospital.
Mullaitivu Press Club chide the assault as "yet another [attack] on media freedom and a serious human rights violation". They further add that journalists in the "North and East are subjected to serious challenges amidst severe threats to their lives and profession".
"Whilst attacks against Tamils journalists continue unabated complaints even up to the President have gone unattended. This culture of impunity continues to put journalists and freedom of expression into serious hardship. if action had been taken earlier and the guilty held accountable such continued action against journalists would not continue" the statement read.
The statement also stressed that "the Sri Lankan government continues its policy of stifling press freedom and the right to information by intimidating and harassing journalists and media houses as police and military continue their hard-line stand on targeting journalists even on flimsy reasons".
The Press Club further condemned the abduction and forced disappearance of 44 Tamils journalists and lack of accountability.
The statement concluded by noting:
"The Mullaitivu journalists association and the press club strongly condemn the brutal attack on journalists whose only aim is to inform the public of the events happening in the respective areas. We also call upon those interested in press freedom, international bodies to interfere and ensure that journalists are safe and continue to their profession without any hindrance".
Read the full letter below.