US concerned over Sri Lankan media freedom

Last Updated: Saturday, June 30, 2012 - 23:49

Colombo: The US embassy in Colombo on Saturday expressed "deep concern" over the arrest of nine journalists of a pro-opposition website and sought an end to harrassment of media.

"We have raised on several occasions our deep concern over efforts to suppress independent news media, including the blocking of news websites, intimidation, and disappearances of journalists.

"The United States believes that an uncensored and independent media available to all citizens is an indispensable part of any vibrant democracy and we call for an end to the harassment of these and all other journalists," a statement released by the Embassy said.

Some 9 journalists of Sri Lanka Mirror and Lankaxnews websites were arrested yesterday and released on bail today.
Their computers were also seized by a party of police crime investigation department officials who raided the website offices following a court order.
They were accused of possessing anti-government material. The government charged that the websites were carrying out slanderous campaigns against individuals by violating ethics of free media.

PTI




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