RSF protests journalist's arrest

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 January 2001, 16:04 GMT]
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Media, Mangala Samaraweera, on Friday, Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders - RSF) protested against the detention since 2 January 2001 of Subramaniam Thiruchelvan, a journalist from Jaffna, by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID). RSF asked the Minister to inform it of the reasons for this detention.

If this arrest is linked to his journalistic activities, we ask you to ensure that the journalist is released as soon as possible, wrote Robert Ménard, general secretary of RSF.

According to the information collected by the organisation, S.P.Thisanayakka, an officer at the TID, arrested Thiruchelvan on 2 January 2001. At the time of his arrest, Thiruchelvan was a correspondent of the governmental press group, Lakehouse Newspapers, and of the Tamil-language newspaper Valampuri in Point Pedro district (Jaffna peninsula, north of the country).

According to the RSF, the journalist is allegedly detained in the offices of the TID in Chaityaya Road, Colombo. The journalist, who lives in Jaffna, had travelled to the capital for a family ceremony.

Since his arrest, members of his family have received no information from the authorities regarding the reasons for his detention. Neither have they received any notification from the police.

RSF stated that his family believes he has been the victim of someone who informed against him, even though he has nothing to do with the Liberation Tigers.


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