24th June 2008/The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on authorities in Sri Lanka to ensure fair and transparent judicial process is applied to senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who continues to be detained by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police.
A magistrate is due to issue a decision on June 30 in the case of the editor of the OutreachSl.com news website, who has been detained since March 7. A ruling will also be delivered on N. Jesiharan, owner of E-Kwality printers, and his partner Valarmathi, who have been held since March 6.
The expected rulings follow a court appearance by Tissainayagam and Jesiharan at Colombo’s Court No. 1 yesterday, according to the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate.
Tissainayagam has been held without charge for 107 days. Under the Emergency Regulations Act, detainees must appear before a court upon completion of a 90-day detention order. However, the TID had previously failed to present him for scheduled court hearings due to purported administrative delays.
In court yesterday, Tissainayagam’s lawyer, Subandiran, argued that Sections 19 and 21 of the emergency regulation in force further required that detainees must be transferred to fiscal custody (that is, removed from TID special detention into general detention) upon completion of a 90-day detention order.
The court also heard allegations yesterday that Jesiharan had suffered torture in detention. Grave concerns are held for his welfare.
“The prolonged detention of Tissainayagam, without explanation, breaches the basic human right to justice,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“Fair judicial process must be applied to Tissainayagam, and all cases, without exception