This document provides guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims from – as well as country of origin information (COI) about – journalists (incl.internet-based media), media professionals and human rights activists from Sri Lanka.
Read the full document as PDF: CIG_-_Sri_Lanka_-_Treatment_of_Journalists_and_Human_Rights_Activists_-_v1_0
This includes whether claims are likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave and whether – in the event of a claim being refused – t is likely to be certifiable as ‘clearly unfounded’ under s94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.
• In relation to the previous Government the country guidance case of GJ & Others found that journalists, media professionals and human rights activists who have, or are perceived to have, criticised the Sri Lankan government, in particular its human rights record, or who are associated with publications critical of the Sri Lankan government, may be at real risk of persecution or harm on return to Sri Lanka.
• However since the new Sri Lankan government came to office in January 2015 they have taken steps to review, case-by-case, those detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, lifted restrictions on media reporting, ended Internet censorship and appointed non-military personnel as governors to the North and East provinces.
• Journalists, media professionals and human rights activists are reportedly able to express themselves more freely and ommunicate publicly. However, some individuals may still be at real risk.
• The onus will be on the person to demonstrate that they are at real risk from the current, rather than the previous, government
• The onus is on the person to demonstrate that effective state protection against non-state actors is not available.
• Internal relocation is not an option for a person at real risk from the Sri Lankan authorities.
• Where a claim based on the person ’s activities as a journalist, media professional or human rights activist is refused, it is unlikely to be certifiable as ‘clearly unfounded’ under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002