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Press freedom and journalist safety under threat in Sri Lanka - IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed concern about threats to press freedom and journalist safety in Sri Lanka as a result of the ongoing political crisis.

Responding especially to the attempted transfer of a senior police official who was responsible for investigating the assassination of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, as well as the high profile cases surrounding the targeting of other journalists, IFJ endorsed a statement by its Sri Lankan affiliate SLWJA who said:

“We believe that this sudden transfer was made to [hold] up the above mentioned courts cases, and under these circumstances, we are shocked as media freedom and safety of journalists are in danger.”

Also expressing concern about recent threats to journalists, the IFJ said:

“The IFJ is seriously concerned by the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, and the threats and harassment of journalist union leaders for standing up for freedom of expression, press freedom and journalists’ rights. Expressing solidarity with its affiliate Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association and all other journalists in Sri Lanka, the IFJ urges the Sri Lankan government to uphold press freedom, editorial independence and journalists’ rights; ensure the safety of the journalists and union leaders, and those responsible for threats and harassment on them punished according to the law.”