As world leaders gather for the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo this month, all eyes are on the host
nation, Sri Lanka.
remains a highly restrictive and dangerous nation for the press. Critical or
opposition journalists face intense intimidation. According to research by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at
least 26 journalists have been driven into exile
in the last five years, one of the highest numbers in the world. Work-related
murders have declined since 2009, but the slayings of nine journalists have
gone unpunished over the past decade, one of the worst
records of impunity globally. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration has shown no interest in
pursuing the perpetrators in these murders. All of the victims had reported on
politically sensitive issues in ways that were critical of the government.
In the past, CHOGM has been a platform to address issues such as apartheid in South Africa and the electoral dispute in Zimbabwe. As leaders from more than 50 nations converge in Colombo for the biennial summit this month, we would like to highlight our
grave concern about the lack of press freedom in Sri Lanka and
urge meaningful action.
Join CPJ as it calls on leaders of the Commonwealth countries to urge President Rajapaksa to respect press freedom. Sign up to share this message and spread the
show your support:
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Impunity affects the press in Sri
Lanka and around the world. Reporting on corruption, crime, conflict, politics, and human
rights has proven deadly for too many. In 90 percent of journalist
murders, the killers walk away unpunished. To learn more about impunity and
violence against journalists, visit www.speakjusticenow.org,
a digital campaign to demand justice for murdered journalists.
On 15 November, watch as
everyone's messages are simultaneously shared across the world.
For more information, please visit:
Justice: Voices Against Impunity