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RSF calls for protection of Tamil journalists after death threats

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for “proper police protection” and a “thorough investigation” after journalists in Batticaloa received death threats yesterday, amidst a ramped up climate of harassment of media workers in recent months.

A number of journalists from the Batticaloa district were issued death threats, with leaflets of their photographs circulated warning that they will soon be executed.

The press freedom organisation tweeted that it “demands proper police protection for the seven journalists and a thorough investigation into these unacceptable death threats”.

“The credibility of [Rajapaksa's] government and its respect for #PressFreedom is at stake,” it added.

The latest incident comes amidst a worrying rise in threats and intimidation of journalists, since accused war criminal Gotabaya Rajapaksa was appointed Sri Lanka’s president in November 2019.

Just this month, Tamil Guardian’s Batticaloa-based correspondent was harassed by the Sri Lankan security forces and arrested after reporting on alleged corruption against a local government official.