The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands a police investigation into months of threats and intimidation directed at a highly respected investigative journalist in Sri Lanka, after she received a new threat of violence in a telephone call on June 14.
According to the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, Frederica Jansz, the former deputy editor of the Sunday Leader, editor of monthly magazine Montage and a coordinator with the International News Safety Institute (INSI), was threatened by an unknown Sinhalese speaker who warned her to end her “unnecessary work” or face the consequences.
Jansz reported several indirect threats against her during May, including the presence of a large vehicle outside her house with its lights on and engine revving at 4.30am on May 28 and a dismembered chicken left in front of her office in early May.
“As a culture of impunity rages against independent media in Sri Lanka, any insinuation or threat of violence against a journalist is to be taken very seriously, and local authorities must provide higher levels of protection,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“Yet again, the IFJ calls on the Government and law enforcement agencies to respond to another threat against a journalist.
“Only through the Sri Lankan local and state authorities’ public demonstrations of respect for and commitment to the safety and protection of journalists will perpetrators of violence and intimidation be made accountable and brought to justice.”
The IFJ joins the FMM in condemning the threats against Jansz and urging the local police and Jansz’s employers to ensure that all possible protective measures are put in place immediately.