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Uthayan journalists do not feel free - Editor

The editor of the Uthayan said his journalists “"do not feel terribly free”, and said they are not being allowed to do their jobs by the security forces.

Speaking to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) after the arrest of one of its reporters, the paper’s editor Prem Anand said he believed the journalist N. Logathayalan was charged with "defamation of the police department".

“The police and other security institutions are still not willing to give us the space we need to do our job as reporters," Mr Anand told the CPJ.

"Arresting a reporter is an inappropriate response if the police in Jaffna feel they have been harmed by a news report," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator.

"It seems the heavy-handed habits developed during Sri Lanka's internal conflict over so many years have left authorities with the tendency to overreact to criticism."

The journalist was arrested for his coverage for the Uthayan newspaper of the sexual assault of a school girl by Sri Lankan police officers at Nelliyadi station. He was released on bail on Thursday.

The Uthayan stood by its story, saying that the article written by Logathayalan was accurate.

Jaffna journalist detained after investigating assault by Sri Lankan police (08 April 2015)

Tamil journalists threatened by police in Jaffna (08 April 2015)

New Sri Lanka govt has not led to anticipated change says Wigneswaran (06 April 2015)

Surveillance of journalists in North must stop, says international media mission (01 March 2015)

Sri Lanka ranks 4th in global impunity index for killings of journalists (16 April 2014)