"Jaffna's media in the grip of terror"

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 August 2007, 11:21 GMT]
Reporters Without Borders and International Media Support, two members of the international press freedom mission to Sri Lanka, that carried out a joint fact-finding mission in June, said in a report released Friday that "Murders, kidnappings, threats and censorship have made Jaffna one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists to work. At least seven media workers, including two journalists, have been killed there since May 2006."

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"National and international media correspondents are steadily leaving the district or the country after getting death threats by phone or text-message. While the fact-finding mission was in Jaffna, the last full-time foreign media correspondent got a text-message and a call from a sat-phone saying it was his last warning before he was killed. He left Jaffna the next day," the report said.

"Jaffna's media in the grip of terror" is the first of three reports being prepared by the international mission. The results of its investigations in the east of the island and in Colombo are to be published soon, according to the Group.

Last March, the international mission published a fact-finding report on the overall press freedom situation in Sri Lanka, entitled "The Struggle for Survival." It included recommendations to all parties to the conflict about the safety of journalists and official and unofficial censorship.


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