Press Statement

Sri Lanka: Media obstructed by security forces

29 Jul, 2019

A journalist was obstructed from reporting on a Sri Lankan Air Force Commander’s visit to a Buddhist monastery in Kandy on Sunday, July 21. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) in condemning the obstruction of press freedom.

On Sunday journalist M.N. Aminullah from local newspaper Lake House was blocked by security personnel from covering a Sri Lankan Air Force Commander’s visit to the chief incumbent of the Asgiriya prelate – a Buddhist monastery. Despite being invited officially by the air force to cover the visit, Aminullah was denied from carrying out his job without proper explanation. This came in spite of showing his media accreditation to the security personnel and explaining he was there on a professional basis.

In a statement the FMM expressed their belief that the incident violated Aminullah’s rights in reporting the Air Force Commander’s visit.

“We, the Free Media Movement, wish to emphasise that it is the responsibility of the relevant authorities to ensure … journalists [can] conduct their profession freely, without obstruction, irrespective of their social status of ethnicity,” said FMM in a statement.

SLWJA said in a statement, it believes such incidents should not happen in the future and all journalists should have freedom and right to perform their duty without obstruction.

The IFJ said: “We stand with FMM in condemning the obstruction of Aminullah’s reportage of Sri Lankan Air Fore Commander’s visit to Asgiriya prelate. The incident demonstrates a blockade on press freedom and call on authorities to end such restrictions and respect journalists’ rights.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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