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Tamil journalist harassed and intimidated at Vavuniya families of the disappeared protest

A Tamil journalist was threatened and harassed by an ‘investigator’ at the Vavuniya families of the disappeared (FOD) protest on Friday 4th February.  

The ‘investigator’ who was monitoring the protests in the North-East, also intimidated protesting mothers by photographing them and recording speakers and protest banners bearing their details as well as all the things that were said at the protest.   

Balanathan Satheesan, a local journalist based in Vavuniya, went to the Vavuniya Old Bus Stand to cover the FOD hunger strike and protest, was obstructed from doing his job by the man present there.

The demonstration was held despite a court ban issued against FOD protests on Sri Lankan Independence Day.

This incident adds to the increasingly frequent instances of journalists being photographed and harassed at the FOD and Pottuvil to Polikandy peace protest march.

The appointment of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s president last year, has increased incidents of Tamil journalists and activists facing state surveillance and intimidation. Media repression in the North-East has escalated further ahead of the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva as courts across the North-East have issued bans against peaceful protests.

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