Jaffna lawyers protest against death threats, extortion

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 September 2007, 03:57 GMT]
Lawyers in Jaffna peninsula staged a token protest demonstration Wednesday, refraining from appearing for sessions at the five Divisional courts and the High Court in the peninsula, against the death threats, intimidation and extortion by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) backed armed Tamil paramilitary groups, an attorney-at-law participating in the protest, said.

The magistrates of the five Divisional Courts in Jaffna, Chaavakachcheari, Kayts, Mallaakam and Point Pedro and Jaffna High Court had to postpone sessions as no lawyer in the peninsula appeared at their courts.

Doctors, medical specialists, media men and intellectuals are being continually threatened with death, intimidation through phone calls, and demands by letters and in person by the Tamil paramilitary men collaborating with SLA, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

The armed groups demand large sums of money from their targets while threatening them with death or abductions of their children and family members, the sources added.

Though this issue has been brought to the notice of the Justice Department and other related authorities, no constructive action has been taken to bring an end to this menace, a lawyer pointed out.

Meanwhile, the SLA command from Palaali Military base announced Wednesday that anyone being issued with death threats and intimidation should report to them.

The SLA command also rejected any accusation leveled against its troops.



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