To the attention of : Ajith Sunghay
Human Rights Officer , Asia-Pacific
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Dear Mr Sunghay,
A raid on a workshop co-organized by the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) was conducted on Wednesday and have lead to the arrest of FMM and IFJ members, among them Jacqueline Park, by officers from the Emigration and Immigration Department. Members of the Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist organisation Bodu Bala Sena, also present, have threatened the owners of the venue, the Hotel Renuka, where the workshop is conducted, not to allow FMM and IFJ to conduct the workshop on Thursday. They have threatened the owners to be present at the venue in the morning to force the cancellation of the workshop.
We fear for the security of the members of FMM and IFJ who risk physical assault, as they have planned, according to my information, to go ahead with the workshop.
We hope the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights can intervene in the most rapid and efficient way in order to prevent such possibility and help ensure the security of the journalists and members of civil society organisations who will be present at this workshop.
I remain at your entire disposal should you need more information.
Because of the very short amount of time available, the limited ressources to react to such threat, and in order to maximize the efficiency of this alert, I am also sending the present email to a number of International media organizations and non-governmental organizations (in blind copy of this email).
However, you can be assured that your answer and my following emails will remain strictly confidential.
Details on today’s incident can be found in the media, see below :