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FMM condemns attempts at media suppression through ICCPR Act

The Free Media Movement (FMM) says it strongly condemns all attempts to suppress journalists and media by pursuing legal action under the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act.

Issuing a Media Release yesterday (16), the FMM said that taking legal action against Kusal Perera, whom they called ‘a socially responsible professional journalist’ is a serious threat to freedom of expression and the media.

“Kusal Perera has been engaged in journalism for a long time in both the Sinhala and English media. The Organised Crime Division has reported to the Colombo Magistrate Courts regarding action to be taken against him based on the ICCPR Act about an article in the Daily Mirror headlined ‘From Islamic terrorism to marauding Sinhala Buddhist violence’ written by him in his weekly column on 17  May 2019,” the media release said.

The FMM points out that the pursuance of legal action under the ICCPR Act, which allows provision to disallow bail, based on a complaint of an individual regarding the article published by a veteran journalist in a recognised print media, is a dangerous precedent.

The FMM is, therefore, urging all the relevant authorities to intervene in defeating such actions against freedom of expression and the media.