OBSTRUCTION AND INTIMIDATION TOWARDS PHOTO JOURNALIST AKILA JAYAWARDENE
Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (SLWJA) strongly condemns with disgust obstruction and intimidation towards Photo Journalist Akila Jayawardene attached to Mavubima Newspaper, yesterday (10th July 2020) by Neomal Rangajeewa – Inspector of Police at High court premises, Colombo.
It is reported that Akila was covering the moment of entering the key suspect of the assassination of prisoners of Welikada prison and ex OIC of Police Narcotics Division, Neomal Rangajeewa into the high court premises to attend the said court case. While he was taking photographs, Neomal Rangajeewa grabbed Akila from his shirt collar and took him to the Police Post in the high court premises forcibly and threatened him even without taking any notice to the media identity issued by the Ministry of Mass media. Also he has taken the memory card from Akila’s camera.
It is our belief that as a result of such incidents take place specially in a places like court premises where general public still believe that law is assured, journalists will face difficulties in performing their duties freely and the general public will lose their right to know the truth. We have to recall that this is not the first incident took place in court premises, and believe that repetition of such incidents occur due to the failure of taking proper legal action against such incidents previously by relevant authorities.
Every professional journalist have an equal right to perform their duties according to the law of the country. Therefore, Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association urge the relevant authorities to carry out an impartial inquiry into this and also request to take necessary action to avoid repetition of such incidents in the future.