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Sri Lanka’s intimidation of journalist is ‘retaliation for critical reporting’ – CPJ

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Sri Lankan authorities should immediately return the seized laptop of journalist Dharisha Bastians and spoke out against what it termed a “intimidation campaign”.

“CPJ strongly objects to the seizure of journalist Dharisha Bastians’ laptop and is concerned it could further endanger her sources,” said Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher.

“Sri Lankan authorities should immediately end this intimidation campaign against Bastians, which is clearly retaliation for her critical reporting.” 

Officers from Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) raided the Colombo residence of Bastians and seized her laptop earlier this month, raising concerns over the safety of her sources.

Bastians, who is also a correspondent for the New York Times and former chief editor of the Sunday Observer, said the raid happened earlier this month “after two separate attempts to obtain the device without a court order”.