In this video companion to CPJ's 2010 census of imprisoned journalists, Sri Lankan columnist J.S. Tissainayagam describes his own time in prison and how international advocacy can make a difference in winning the freedom of jailed reporters, editors, photojournalists, and bloggers. (4:09)
The end of Sri Lanka’s war with Tamil rebels has not eased repression of independent media. Journalists still face violence, harassment, and detention. Will President Rajapaksa use his victories on the battlefield and in the polling booth to reunite the nation and restore free expression? A CPJ Special Report by Bob Dietz and Robert Mahoney
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka
M.V. Kaanamylnathan hasn’t left
his office for four years. Sri Lanka’s civil war is over but the
editor-in-chief of the Tamil daily Uthayan
still thinks it’s unsafe to venture out. He’s become famous among the island’s
media community for his self-imposed house arrest. The colonial-era compound
housing the editorial offices and printing press are guarded, but not
especially tightly, reflecting an easing of tension since the defeat of Tamil
secessionists in May 2009.
CPJ’s March 2009 special report, “Failure
to Investigate,” addressed three severe attacks on the media in
January of that year. CPJ also found a broad pattern in which “top journalists had been
killed, attacked, threatened, and harassed since the government began to pursue
all-out military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE) in late 2006.”
CPJ challenges authorities in 10 nations
to bring justice and reverse culture of impunity
New York, April 29, 2010—In the Philippines, political clan members slaughter more than 30 news media workers and dump their bodies in mass graves. In Sri Lanka, a prominent editor who has criticized authorities is so sure of retaliation that he predicts his own murder. In Pakistan, a reporter who embarrassed the government is abducted and slain. In these and hundreds of other journalist killings worldwide, no one has been convicted.
In our special report, “Ten Journalist Murder Cases to Solve,” CPJ challenges authorities to solve these news media slayings and reverse the culture of impunity. Here, CPJ's Robert Mahoney explains why each of these cases can be solved if governments demonstrate political will. Listen to the mp3 on the player above, or right click here to
CPJ’s 2010 Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free
New York, April 20, 2010—Deadly, unpunished violence against the press has soared in the Philippines and Somalia, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Impunity in journalist murders also rose significantly in Russia and Mexico, two countries with long records of entrenched, anti-press violence.