South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

The police spokesman announced that the Magistrate’s Court of Gangodavila has halted the proceedings of the case of abduction of Poddala Jayantha, the senior journalist, the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) and a key activist of the Free media movement (FMM) of Sri Lanka, due to lack of evidence. It is a profound expression of the unwillingness and inability of the state to conduct criminal investigations in sensitive cases of gross human rights violations where it may be possible that state agencies are involved. This was not an isolated abduction but one of many in the recent times. It occurred in broad daylight in front of a huge crowd. In its nature it was the most horrendous abduction in the recent past. The case earned local and international attention and opened a wider discourse on the gross human rights violations occurring in Sri Lanka, including the existing interference and suppressions to the media freedom, endangered life of the journalist and the situations of citizens’ human rights and democratic liberties.

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