Colombo Telegraph

The Writers In Prison Committee Of PEN International Joins Article 19 In Its Concerns For The Safety Of Frederica

By Pen International –

The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International joins Article 19 in its concerns for the safety of Sri Lankan journalist Frederica Jansz (f), who received a death threat from Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa during a telephone interview on 5 July 2012. PEN International reiterates its concern for the safety of journalists in Sri Lanka, many of whom are attacked and threatened with apparent impunity for their reporting. It is calling for a full investigation into the threats against Frederica Jansz and for immediate assurances of her safety. PEN reminds the authorities of Sri Lanka’s commitments to the promotion and protection of freedom of expression under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which it is a signatory. Please also send your messages of solidarity to Federica Jansz at

Article 19 gives the following information:

‘Frederica Jansz is the editor of Sri Lankan weekly newspaper, The Sunday Leader, and was conducting a phone interview with Rajapaksa, who is also the brother of the president.

According to The Sunday Leader, Rajapaksa told Jansz during the interview: “You pig that eats shit! You shit shit dirty fucking journalist! […] People will kill you! People hate you! They will kill you!”

The Sunday Leader and its journalists face regular attack. The newspaper’s editor, Lasantha Wickramatunge, was assassinated on his way to work on 8 January 2009. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for the crime.

Censorship and violence has recently increased against online sources of information and their authors. On 29 June, eight journalists and an assistant were arrested after the Sri Lankan police raided the offices of two news websites, and’

To read Article 19’s press release in full, click here.
To read the interview in full, click here;
For further background about Gotabaya Rajapakse, click here.


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