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Another Murder Attempt on Journalist in Sri Lanka

February 18, 2013

Another Murder Attempt on Journalist: a Consequence of the Cult of Impunity

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins partners and affiliates in Sri Lanka in condemning the murderous attack on Faraz Shaukataly, a reporter with the Sunday Leader newspaper on the night of February 15.

According to reports from Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement (FMM) Shaukataly was at his home and had just finished a telephone conversation when he was shot at by three armed intruders. He was injured in his neck and has since been under intensive care in a Colombo hospital.

Sources in Sri Lanka indicate that Shaukataly had been engaged in a number of investigative stories involving revelations of possible wrongdoing by senior public figures in Sri Lanka. There are also suspicions that he may have been marked out for vendetta after a story was published under his byline on the country’s casino industry.

The IFJ would like to underline the point the FMM makes, that this murderous attack on a journalist is a direct consequence of “a history of uninvestigated incidents where no one has been brought to justice for committing violence against the media”.

“The inability of the law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka to charge and penalise individuals who have engaged in unlawful behaviour is a reflection of how far we have strayed from the path of democracy and human rights”, says the FMM.

The IFJ demands that the authorities in Sri Lanka fulfil their promises of taking attacks on media seriously, and launch a credible investigation into this assault immediately.

“We call for a break with the culture of impunity that has been encouraged through years of civil war and bitter political partisanship in Sri Lanka”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

“Without visible progress in checking impunity and enforcing accountability for the atrocities of the past, progress towards national reconciliation will be impossible”.

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

ENDS

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