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JDS calls for immediate release of arrested Sri Lanka journalist

[TamilNet, Friday, 1 April 2011 13:14 No Comment]

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), an group of Tamil and Sinhalese exiled journalists from Sri Lanka condemned the "outrageious arrest" of journalist and news editor of Lankaenews website, Benett Rupasinghe, and called for his immediate release. Rupasinghe was arrested on March 31 by Sri Lanka Police which the JDS called "another act of intimidation agaisnt media freedom."

Full text of the news release follows:

A senior Sri Lankan journalist and the News Editor of Lankaenews website, Benett Rupasinghe, has been arrested today (31) by the Sri Lankan Police, dealing yet another blow to the already worsened media freedom and human rights situation in the country. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) condemns the outrageous arrest of Mr.Rupasinghe in the strongest terms while urging for his immediate release.

This is yet another act of intimidation against media freedom in general and Lankaenews in particular by the incumbent government of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Rupasinghe was arrested when he turned up at the police station on the invitation of the police to record a statement. This clearly shows the government is misusing police and judicial powers in addition to extra-legal methods against independent media in order to stifling dissent.

The office of the Lankaenews in the very outskirts of capital Colombo, was burnt down last month by an “unknown group” of people. No one has been arrested to date in this regard. The Chief Editor of Lankaenews, has already fled the country and is living in exile, fearing persecution.

The JDS appeals to all concerned groups and individuals to take necessary action to demand for immediate release of journalist Benett Rupasinghe.

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