Jaffna lawyers to protest against death threats

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 02:07 GMT]
Lawyers in Jaffna peninsula, will hold a token protest demonstration throughout the peninsula Wednesday in protest against the death threats, intimidation, and extortion by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) backed armed Tamilparamilitary groups, civil sources in J affna said. The Lawyers will not appear for sessions at the five Divisionalcourts and the High Court in the peninsula, according to an announcement made by the Jaffna Peninsula Attorneys-at-law Association (JPAA), Tuesday.

Many attorneys-at-law in the peninsula, including leading lawyers, are being continually threatened with death, intimidation through phone calls, and demands by letters and in person by the Tamil paramilitary men collaborating with SLA, an attorney-at-law who wishes to remain anonymous, said.

The armed groups demand large sums of money from the lawyers while threatening them with death or abductions of their children and family members, he added.

Though this issue has been brought to the notice of the Justice Department and other related authorities, no constructive action has been taken to bring an end to this menace, he further added.

Therefore, the JPAA has decided to hold a token protest demonstration Wednesday in the hope of drawing the immediate notice of the related authorities, a member of the association said.

All Courts in the peninsula have been informed of the demonstration.

A similar situation faced by the lawyers of Vavuniyaa had earlier triggered a protest demonstration by lawyers which was immediately attended by Vavuniyaa magistrate, and the issue was resolved by law enforcement authorities. Vavuniyaa has not seen any significant cases of threats on lawyers since that time.


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