With 48 killed since January, 2006 is deadliest year for press since start of war

first_img Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News October 17, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 With 48 killed since January, 2006 is deadliest year for press since start of war With a total of 48 journalists and media assistants killed in cold blood since the start of January, 2006 is already the deadliest year for the Iraqi press since the start of the war in March 2003, Reporters Without Borders said today, condemning targeted violence against media.“Journalists are being attacked more often that Iraqi politicians, who work in the Green Zone where the parliament, ministries and US embassy is located and who are protected by private security companies,” the press freedom organisation said.“But Iraqi journalists get no protection and have to work with the population, which makes them more vulnerable to attack,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “We reiterate our call to the Iraqi authorities to finally guarantee a safer work environment for all media personnel.”Toll of employees killed in attack on new TV station rises to 11The toll of employees left dead by the targeted attack on 12 October on the new Iraqi TV station Al Shaabiya has risen to 11. The dead include director Abdel Rahim Nasrallah Al Shumari, deputy director Nawfal Al Shumari, technicians Hussein Ali, Dhakir Hussein Al Shuwaili and Ahmad Shaaban, and head administrator Sami Nasrallah Al Shumari. Five security guards were also killed, while journalists Mishtak Al Maamuri and Mohammed Kazem Al Finiyin are still in a critical condition in hospital.The attack was carried out by masked gunmen who pulled up outside the TV station’s new premises at 8 a.m., shot the security guards outside and then went inside looking for any journalists they could find. One journalist had time to call a colleague and ask him to alert the police. After dialling the emergency number, 130, without success, he got through to an operator on a different emergency number, 104. Despite the urgency, the operator asked him to file a report with the police because, he said, it was impossible to send out a patrol each time an attack took place.Two Al Irakiya journalists killed, cartoonist shot and woundedRaid Qais Al Shammari, a journalist working for the TV station Al Irakiya and the radio station Sawt Al Irak, was shot dead at the wheel of his car on 13 October in the Baghdad district of Al Dora. Another Al Irakiya journalist, Ali Halil, was murdered by gunmen yesterday in the Baghdad district of Al Hurriye.Dhiaa Al Hajjar, a cartoonist working for the newspaper Al Sabah, was meanwhile shot and wounded by gunmen in Baghdad on 13 October. His condition is reported to be stable.The TV station Al Irakiya and the daily Al Sabah are part of the Iraqi Media Network (IMN), which was created by the coalition forces after they had taken Baghdad in 2003. Many journalists working for these media have received letters warning they will be killed if they do not give their jobs.Journalist freed by kidnappersWe have just learned that Ali Karim, the editor of the weekly Nadb Al Shabab, was released on 11 October after his family paid a ransom of 30,000 dollars. Karim was tortured for three days and still has burns on his hands and back.A total of 123 journalists and media assistants have been killed and 51 have been kidnapped since the start of the war in 2003. Four of the kidnap victims are still being held hostage. RSF_en News News News Organisation Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” to go further Follow the news on Iraq Reporters Without Borders reiterates its condemnation of targeted attacks on the media after the total of journalists and media assistants killed since the start of January reached 48, making 2006 the deadliest year for the Iraqi press since the war began in 2003. The organisation again calls on the Iraqi authorities to take the necessary measures to guarantee a safer work environment for all media personnel. February 15, 2021 Find out more December 28, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

US — #WeeklyAddress: March 26—April 1: Second whistleblower faces charges under Trump administration

first_img Help by sharing this information NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say United StatesAmericas RSF_en June 7, 2021 Find out more June 3, 2021 Find out more Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of March 26-April 1: News News United StatesAmericas Department of Justice charges FBI whistleblower under Espionage ActThe Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Terry Albury, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, on March 27 for allegedly leaking secret documents to a national media organization. Though the media outlet was not specified, The Intercept released a set of classified FBI guidelines for assessing confidential informants in January 2017 that correlated with the dates of Albury’s alleged leak. He has been charged under the Espionage Act with two counts related to the unauthorized disclosure and retention of national security information. In a statement, Albury’s attorneys said he “accepts full responsibility for the conduct set forth in the Information.” The Trump administration has made it a priority to prosecute government employees who leak classified information to the media. At a press conference in August 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DOJ will review policies on media subpoenas in leak cases. Sessions said at the conference, “We are taking a stand. This culture of leaking must stop.” Albury is the second whistleblower to be charged under the Espionage Act during Trump’s presidency, following the indictment of former NSA contractor Reality Winner in June 2017. Reporter arrested by New York State Police at lobby of the State Senate On March 28, New York Daily News Albany bureau chief and state Capitol reporter Ken Lovett was arrested in the state Senate for openly talking on his cellphone in the lobby. Lovett claimed he was asked to leave the lobby by the Senate sergeant-at-arms, but refused on the grounds that Senate was not in session. Senate regulations typically prohibit the use of cellphones in the lobby, but this rule is not regularly enforced. Lovett was held in custody for approximately 45 minutes on charges of trespassing until New York Governor Andrew Cuomo bailed him out. Governor Cuomo told reporters: “We don’t believe any charges will be filed. Freedom of the press is alive and well in the city of Albany.” Lovett is the first journalist to be arrested in the United States this year. According to the US Press Freedom Tracker, there were 34 arrests of journalists in 2017. Trump tweets that The Washington Post should register as “lobbyist” On March 31, President Donald Trump falsely stated on Twiter that The Washington Post is acting as a lobbyist for online retailer Amazon and should therefore register as one. This is not the first time President Trump has made this accusation; in a July 2017 tweet, he first expressed his concern that the paper was being used as a “lobbyist weapon” for Amazon’s advantage. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has owned the newspaper since 2013, the company has no stake in The Washington Post and the news outlet operates independently. However, Trump has linked the two together multiple times, referring to the “Amazon Washington Post” in past tweets, and has made The Washington Post the subject of numerous other Twitter tirades. Release of Sinclair’s media-bashing promos draws backlash On March 31, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s anti “fake news” promos went viral after Deadspin, an online media outlet, released a video montage showing dozens of Sinclair anchors reading the same mandated script. Last month, CNN anchor Brian Stelter reported on leaked scripts for Sinclair’s promotional campaign, in which anchors on local affiliates for the broadcasting company denounced the media by using disparaging rhetoric such as “fake news,” a term commonly used by President Donald Trump to discredit major news outlets. At one point in the script, anchors are told to recite: “Unfortunately, some members of the national media are using their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’ … This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” CNN Money reported that the new mandate made many staffers feel “uncomfortable.” The edited video elicited negative responses from both the entertainment and media industries, which accused the company of spreading “pro-Trump propaganda.” Sinclair is the country’s largest broadcasting company, owning and operating almost 200 television channels throughout the United States. The United States ranks 43rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year. For the latest updates, follow RSF on twitter @RSF_en. April 3, 2018 US — #WeeklyAddress: March 26—April 1: Second whistleblower faces charges under Trump administrationcenter_img Follow the news on United States Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says to go further Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP News WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists News Organisation Receive email alerts April 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Reprisals against journalists in northwestern Buner valley

first_imgNews to go further Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Organisation News Receive email alerts News ————-12 juillet 2009:Taliban blow up journalist’s home in Buner valleyReporters Without Borders is extremely worried by Taliban reprisals against journalists in the northwestern Buner valley, where about 60 masked gunmen identifying themselves as Taliban blew up the home of radio journalist Rehman Buneri in the village of Poland on 9 July, three days after he made allegedly “anti-Taliban” comments on the air.“This Taliban attack was cowardly and unacceptable,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge Taliban fighters to stop taking reprisals against journalists, who are often the victims of physical attacks and intimidation. We also ask the Pakistani government to guarantee the safety of journalists by reaffirming its military presence in the region.”The gunmen told Buneri’s father: “We have orders to blow up the house because of your son’s criticism of the Taliban.” Based in Karachi, Buneri works for Voice of America’s Pashto-language Deeva Radio. He is also privately-owned Khyber TV’s Karachi bureau chief.“My father said the Taliban arrived at about 2 a.m.,” Buneri told Reporters Without Borders. “They began by reading out loud the charges against me. Then they evacuated all of the members of my family and put explosives around the house.” He added that he had previously received threatening phone calls from an unknown number.The village of Poland is just 15 km from an army-controlled area. The incident took place just a few hours before the government announced that the Taliban had been ousted from the Buner valley and the nearby Swat valley and that the displaced population could begin returning on 13 July. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists April 21, 2021 Find out more PakistanAsia – Pacific July 13, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reprisals against journalists in northwestern Buner valley January 28, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Pakistan Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder RSF_en Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders joins the Khyber Union of Journalists in condemning the ransacking and destruction of a leading TV reporter’s house in the northwestern Buner valley by Taliban fighters on 7 July. The house belonged to Behroz Khan, who works for Geo TV in Peshawar.“The militants looted the house, spent several nights in it and finally torched it on 7 July,” Behroz told Reporters Without Borders today.At a joint press conference yesterday, Khyber Union of Journalists president Mohammad Riaz and Peshawar Press Club president Shamim Shahid urged the government to protect journalists from Taliban attacks. “The authorities must take measure to protect journalists, so that they can have confidence in the Pakistani government again, Riaz said.After two months of fierce fighting between the army and the Taliban, the plight of journalists continues to worsen in the Buner valley, where they are being targeted by both sides. A few days before Khan’s house was torched by the Taliban, the army deliberately set fire to a forest he owns, claiming the Taliban were using it as a refuge. Its destruction represents a major financial loss for the reporter.The Buner valley home of radio journalist Rehman Buneri was also destroyed last week by masked gunmen identifying themselves as Taliban. News June 2, 2021 Find out more PakistanAsia – Pacific last_img read more

Call for investigative journalist’s immediate release

first_img Reporters Without Borders condemns investigative journalist Liu Wei’s detention for the past 11 days on a charge of “illegally obtaining state secrets” in connection with his coverage of a high-profile corruption case. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison ChinaAsia – Pacific Organisation China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further RSF_en April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on China News October 19, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for investigative journalist’s immediate release Receive email alerts News June 2, 2021 Find out more The deputy editor of Southern Metropolis News (南方都市报), a newspaper based in Guangdong, the 37-year-old Liu Wei (刘伟) was arrested in Chengdu on 8 October while on his way to Beijing to attend a seminar, and taken to Jiangxi province, where he is still being held in Pingxiang.The corruption case involves a controversial master of qigong (a traditional system of exercise and meditation), Communist Party officials, businessmen and celebrities. The charge brought against Liu under article 282 of the 1997 penal codes carries a possible seven-year jail sentence.“We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Liu Wei because, like Gao Yu, he is guilty of nothing more than doing his job in a professional manner and with a sense of duty,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.“President Xi Jinping’s government proclaimed combatting corruption to be one of its priorities but yet again it has shown its authoritarian nature. By using a ‘state secrets’ charge to gag the source of information of public interest, Xi’s party has betrayed its real goal, which is to protect its members and prevent a new blow to its legitimacy.”Ever since the controversial qigong master Wang Lin was arrested in a murder investigation in June, Liu had been published a devastating series of documents provided by Wang’s former wife and a police officer. According to the South China Morning Post, these two sources have been held on the same charge as Liu since September.The official media have said nothing about Liu’s detention and the Communist Party is censoring social networks. But Southern Metropolis News, for which Liu has worked since 2009, issued a statement supporting him on 16 October.The requests for Liu’s release on bail that his wife and lawyer submitted on 10 and 13 October were rejected.Gao Yu, a well-known journalist who was awarded UNESCO’s Guillermo Cano prize in 1997, was sentenced to seven years in prison on 17 April on the same charge of disclosing state secrets. Article 282’s vague wording allows the authorities to define any information as a state secret, even after the event.China is ranked 176th out of 180 counties in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News Help by sharing this information News March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Four journalist killed since announced withdrawal of U.S. combat forces

first_img RSF_en February 15, 2021 Find out more November 22, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Four journalist killed since announced withdrawal of U.S. combat forces Follow the news on Iraq to go further Organisation News Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts December 28, 2020 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News IraqMiddle East – North Africa The press freedom organization calls for a proper investigation that results in both the perpetrators and instigators being brought to justice. It would be regrettable if this case went unpunished, like 99 per cent of the 230 murders of journalists that have taken place since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.Without an exemplary trial, those who murder journalists will continue to sow terror among the media throughout the country. Guaranteeing the safety of civilians, including journalists, who have been particularly exposed to the violence in Iraq since 2003, is a major challenge for the government.Al-Baghdadi was slain by three armed men who arrived at his family’s home in the east Mosul neighbourhood of As-Sadiq at around 6 p.m. and introduced themselves as members of the Iraqi army’s intelligence service.“They said they absolutely had to see Mazen,” the journalist’s father told an Iraqi press freedom NGO (Society to defending press freedom in Iraq). “I went into the house and called Mazen. As soon as he stepped out of the house, they shot him with a pistol.” The gunmen left immediately after fatally shooting Al-Baghdadi in the head.He had worked for Al-Mousiliya for the past seven months, presenting “Mosul fi-l Usbu” (A week in Mosul), “Sabah al-Kheir” (Good Morning) and other programmes. He was the second Al-Mousiliya journalist to be killed this year. A privately-owned station covering the northern province of Ninawa, Al-Mousiliya was created in April 2005.Al-Baghdadi was the sixth journalist to be murdered in Iraq since the start of the year and the fourth since the announced withdrawal of the last U.S. combat forces at the end of August. Tahrir Kadhem Jawad, a cameraman employed by the U.S. Arabic-language TV station Al-Hurra, was killed by a bomb in Jasr Al-Korma, in east Fallujah, as he was about to leave for work on 4 October. The bomb had been placed underneath his car.Safaa Al-Dine Abdul Hameed, the presenter of the Al-Mousiliya programme “Our Mosques,” was gunned down outside his home in Mosul as he was leaving for work on 8 September, just one day after Al-Iraqiya TV news presenter Riad Al-Saray was gunned down outside his home in Baghdad. Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns yesterday’s murder of 18-year-old TV presenter Mazen Mardan Al-Baghdadi in the northern city of Mosul. Al-Baghdadi, who worked for Mosul-based satellite TV station Al-Mousiliya, was gunned down outside his home by men claiming to be military intelligence officers. RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News December 16, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa Newslast_img read more

Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity

first_img May 29, 2019 Find out more Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage Receive email alerts Follow the news on Nepal Reports Organisation NepalAsia – Pacific Help by sharing this information May 17, 2019 Find out more News RSF_en Related documents Report_on_the_International_Media_Mission_to_Nepal_Feb_09_.pdfPDF – 930.78 KB News May 13, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity This report contains the findings and recommendations of the Quick-Response Assessment Mission gleaned during a visit undertaken by the “International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission” (also referred to as the International Media Mission or the International Mission) to Nepal from 4 to 8 February 2009. This mission brought together the expertise of a number of international organisations working on media development and freedom of expression.The report assesses developments since the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) was signed between the government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the election held in April 2008 which brought the current coalition government led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) or UCPN(M) to office. The report is also informed by the knowledge gathered through the five visits of the International Mission to Nepal since July 2005, as well as the longer-term involvement of each of the participating organisation in the country. NepalAsia – Pacific Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill June 8, 2020 Find out more News Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story to go furtherlast_img read more

Dissident octogenarian writer Tie Liu arrested for “provoking trouble”

first_img ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further September 18, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Dissident octogenarian writer Tie Liu arrested for “provoking trouble” June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News Police carried out a dawn raid on the home of 81-year-old dissident writer Tie Liu three days ago and took him and his assistant Huang Jing into custody. Reporters Without Borders demands their immediate release. “This arrest shows how far the Peking government is prepared to go to muzzle critical voices,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia desk. “We add our voice to that of the international community in condemning the arrest of Tie Liu. We urge the Chinese authorities to release both him and Huang Jing immediately.” At the age of 81, Tie is one of the oldest dissidents in China. Branded a “rightist” for rebelling against Mao Zedong and the Communist Party, he spent more than 20 years in a re-education camp. However, he has continued to write essays and pamphlets criticizing the Chinese government.According to his wife and his lawyer, he believed he was unlikely to be arrested again given his age. However, his family reported that he recently received threats and warnings, such as the poisoning of his dog the day before he was arrested. The charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” is used regularly by the Chinese authorities to detain political dissidents. At least 30 journalists and 72 netizens are currently in prison in the country.China is ranked 175th of 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. April 27, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information March 12, 2021 Find out more Newscenter_img China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Tie, whose real name is Huang Zerong, was charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. No reason was given for the arrest of Huang Jing, who is also Tie’s care worker and occasionally helps him publish his writings. The police also seized his computers and some of his books. His arrest was believed to be the result of an essay he published recently on the former head of the government’s propaganda department, Liu Yunshan, and the restrictions imposed on the media while he was running the main censorship organ of the Chinese Communist Party’s repressive machinery. Tie was placed in criminal detention, which allows the authorities to hold him for at least 30 days. Receive email alerts Follow the news on China News ChinaAsia – Pacific Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News Organisation last_img read more

Infographic: the deadliest countries for journalists in the Americas

first_img 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies to go further Americas Help by sharing this information Organisation June 7, 2021 Find out more June 3, 2021 Find out more WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says News Newscenter_img News Follow the news on Americas RSF_en Read in PortugueseReporters Without Borders, which constantly monitors violence against journalists, has prepared five graphics to draw attention to murders of journalists in Latin America’s four deadliest countries for media personnel – Mexico, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia – and to try to explain how this violence has evolved in the course of their recent history.Two hundred one journalists, bloggers, social communicators and media workers have been killed since 2000 in these four countries. In most cases, the exact motives remain unknown. But the killings were clearly or most likely the result of the victims’ professional activities.When investigations do take place, they lead nowhere and are frequently hampered by corrupt officials. Mexico, the deadliest country for journalists in all the Americas, ranks number one on this dark list. Eighty-one journalists have been murdered there from January, 2000 to September, 2014. Colombia follows, with 56 killed; then Brazil, 38. Finally, Honduras has seen the number of journalist murders surge since the 2009 coup, to a total of 27. In most cases in all four countries, murdered journalists were targeted because of attempts to report official misconduct, human rights violations, organized crime and corruption. Nearly all of these crimes remain unpunished, given the absence of political will and of efficient judicial systems. The numbers are even more disturbing because none of these countries is officially at war, despite the continued presence of paramilitaries in Colombia, and Mexico’s federal offensive against drug cartels during the administration of Felipe Calderón.Click on the infographics to enlarge. May 13, 2021 Find out more September 30, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Infographic: the deadliest countries for journalists in the Americas Americas Receive email alerts Reportslast_img read more

Journalist kidnapped and killed

first_imgNews May 29, 2019 Find out more Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story Organisation NepalAsia – Pacific The body of journalist Ambika Timsina was found on 12 December near the village of Pathari, in the southeastern province of Koshi.  He had been shot and beaten. The previous day, eight masked men had kidnapped him from his home, saying they wanted to “settle a few things” with him.Noting suspicions that the kidnappers were Maoist rebels, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) called today on the rebels to stop attacking media workers and called for the killers to be arrested and tried.Timsina, 26, who was soon to be married, had worked for the pro-Maoist weeklies Janadesh and Mahima but decided to surrender to security forces after a state of emergency was declared in November 2001.  He and his father had been amnestied and Timsina wanted to continue working in the region.Friend of Timsina said the killers may have been Maoists who suspected him of being an informer for the security forces and had punished him for supposed treachery.  In August, the rebels killed Nawaraj “Basant” Sharma, founder and editor of the weekly Karnali Sandesh, in the extreme west of Nepal.Reporters Without Borders said in a report in March on press freedom in Nepal that under the state of emergency the Maoists, who since 1996 had executed dozens of members of the ruling Congress Party and more recently human rights activists, might now target journalists they accused of collaborating with the government, especially reporters working in the provinces. RSF_en Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage May 17, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts NepalAsia – Pacific center_img News to go further June 8, 2020 Find out more News Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill News Follow the news on Nepal December 20, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist kidnapped and killed Help by sharing this information last_img read more

A journalist’s family threatened

first_img Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information April 4, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 A journalist’s family threatened News RSF_en Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial Follow the news on Sri Lanka News January 13, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News Organisation Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge July 29, 2020 Find out more In a letter sent to the president of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders – RSF) expressed its concern about threats made to Sarath Chinthaka, journalist with the English-language newspaper Daily Mirror and the Sinhala daily Lankadeepa, and his family. “In the current context, as peace negotiations are occurring, it is essential that the police discover what political motivations lie behind these attempts to intimidate this journalist,” said Robert Ménard, general secretary of RSF. The press freedom watchdog also asked the president to do everything in her power to ensure that the investigation by the Wattala police succeeds in discovering those who ordered these threats.According to information obtained by RSF, an attack was made by three armed individuals against the home of Sarath Chinthaka, correspondent in Wattala (north of Colombo) with the English-language newspaper Daily Mirror and the Sinhala daily Lankadeepa, on the night of 30 March 2002. The three masked men entered the house and threatened his wife, who was alone with their child, demanding that she give them a tape containing a controversial speech made by president Chandrika Kumaratunga. Even though the woman denied the existence of such a tape, the intruders broke open a cabinet and stole seven or eight cassettes and a tape recorder. They then threatened to wait in front of the house for Chinthaka to return. His wife managed to get to a police station and file a complaint. Even though Sarath Chinthaka says he does not have a copy of this speech, he has received several telephone threats.President Chandrika Kumaratunga made a speech in January 2002, in Jaela (a town near Wattala), in which she said she could end the cease-fire between the government and the Tamil Tigers by just saying so. This statement was widely criticized in Sri Lanka and in other countries. Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists July 15, 2020 Find out more to go further Newslast_img read more