No prosecution of the police officers who tortured Neth FM Journalist

(August 12, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to the information  a journalist of one of Sri Lanka's leading electronic media institutions, Mr. Nilupa Sanjaya Liyanagehewa was seriously assaulted by a team of 15 police officers attached to the Mulleriyawa Police Station on 4 June 2011. Mr. Sanjaya is employed by Neth FM.

On this particular day Sanjaya had a family gathering in his home at Angoda, Mulleriyawa in the district of Colombo. As Mr. Sanjaya approached his house a group of uniformed police officers brutally assaulted him. The reason the officers gave for the unjustifiable and criminal assault was that he rode a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Later the officers brought Sanjaya, who was, by then, in severe condition with injuries suffered due to the torture to the Mulleriyawa Police Station. He was later admitted to the National Hospital of Colombo and later transferred to a private hospital.

Several days after the incident the Sri Lanka Police Headquarters revealed that the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and seven other policemen of Mulleriyawa Police Station had been suspended over the alleged assault. Further it was announced that an Inspector of Police and one Sub-Inspector of Police were among the officers who were interdicted.

In recent months many journalists have been assaulted and tortured, some of them in broad daylight and in full view of the public. At the beginning those attacked were targeted because they were considered opponents of the government. However, more recently journalists are being targeting irrespective of their identity and political views. Even journalists attached to the state media are being assaulted. However, it is important to note that even in these cases no prosecution ever takes place.

This is a scandalous situation which has been prevailing for a long time now. In Sri Lanka the intellectuals, civil society activists and the patriotic citizens who love the country need to see that the democratic rights and civil liberties of all are protected.

Source: Asian Human Rights Commission

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