NUJP denounces detention and expulsion of IFJ Asia Pacific Director, member

Nov. 1, 2013
Statement

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is outraged over Sri Lanka’s detention and expulsion of IFJ Asia Pacific director Jacqui Park and colleague Jean Worthington.

Reports from Sri Lanka say the two were detained at a hotel in Colombo where they were meeting with colleagues from the Free Media Movement and then were “subjected to lengthy grilling” by immigration and criminal police officials.

Authorities claim the two, who entered Sri Lanka as tourists, had violated their visa conditions through “anti-government” activism.

Since when, we ask, has simply meeting and talking to colleagues and friends been “anti-government”?

This, plus Sri Lanka’s bloody record of media killings — a good number of which strongly point to the involvement of the government or its security agencies — and expulsion of foreign journalists it does not agree with only proves that its government has absolutely no interest in promoting democracy and basic rights.

We call on our colleagues around the world to denounce this outrage, and on all democratic governments to press Sri Lanka to respect human rights or risk losing its standing in the community of free nations.

For reference
Rowena Paraan
Chairperson

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