Press Statement

Sri Lanka : Strict Legal Measures must be enforced against the Special Task Officers who assaulted Sri Lanka’s News first Journalists – Free Media Movement

11 Jul, 2022

The Free Media Movement (FMM) strongly condemns and deplores the violent assaults on four Sri Lanka’s News first Journalists covering a protest in front of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence and six journalists who came to rescue them by several police personnel from Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force (STF).

During the crisis situation, it is the sole responsibility of journalists to report every incident in detail. This is in accordance with the fundamental laws declared and recognized in the Constitution. Therefore, the Free Media Movement strongly asserts that journalists who have been violently assaulted have suffered violations of their fundamental rights and further demands that strict law enforcement be taken against the perpetrators of these violent assaults.

Furthermore, the Free Media Movement ascertains that at the time of attack, the respective journalists were endowed with fundamental rights under Articles 14(1)a and 14(1)g of the Constitution and Article 11 of the Constitution which states that no person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Additionally, Sri Lanka has enacted the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act No. 22 of 1994 to give effect to the United Nations Convention against Torture. The Free Media Movement is of the position that the Police and Special Task Force officers who brutally assaulted journalists engaged in reporting should also be convicted under this act.

Hence, FMM calls upon the Inspector General of Police, Police Commission and the Human Rights Commission to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators responsible for these brutal attacks.

Lasantha de Silva                                                                                                              Hannah Ibrahim

Convener                                                                                                                            Secretary

Written By

Free Media Movement Free Media Movement

Free Media Movement c/o SLPI, No 96, Kirula Road Colombo 05, Sri Lanka Telephone: +94 777 394 959 Fax: +94 11 257 3279