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No justice for attacks on media freedom - Journalists in Jaffna mark 'Black January'

Journalists a held a protest in Jaffna today to mark 'Black January' and to demand investigations into the numerous assassinations and disappearances of media workers on the island. 

Protesters hoisted black flags as they drew attention to the lack of impartial investigations into the murders and attacks on journalists.  

The protest follows a similar event in Batticaloa to commemorate journalists who had lost their lives in pursuit of democratic accountability and reiterated their demands for an independent international investigation into these murders.

“All the murdered journalists in Sri Lanka were assassinated for the sole reason that they were trying to uncover the truth and defend Sri Lanka's democracy. But so far no one has been able to bring justice to the families of any of these murdered journalists” their joint statement read.

During his tenure as Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa oversaw a death squad known as the ‘white van commando’ because of the vehicles it used to kidnap and torture journalists, and in some cases execute them, on his orders. 

The threat on press freedom continues to exist as Tamil journalists routinely face harassment, interrogations by the Sri Lankan authorities and attacks by the army for reporting on abuses across the North-East.  Sri Lanka is currently ranked 127th in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index. 


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