journalists in custody – JASIKARAN and VALARMATHI

Writer and publisher N. Jasikaran and his wife Valarmathi were taken in to custody by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID), par of the Sri Lankan police force, on the 6th March 2008.
Their colleague  senior journalist Tissainayagam was arrested on 7th March after he went to the TID to inquire about Jasikaran and Valarmathi.
Jasikaran and Valarmathi, along with Tissainayagam are directors of E-Kwality Printers, which published the North Eastern Monthly magazine. Approximately one month prior to their arrests, they had commenced work on the website, outreachSL.com.
While the recent international advocacy focus has been on Tissainayagam, threats against Jasikaran’s family highlight a need to urgently increase awareness of the situation regarding Jasikaran and his wife.
Timeline Jasikaran and Valamrathi
• 6th March – Taken in by the TID – held under suspicious of supporting terrorism
• 11th May – Police claim Jasikaran made his confession
• 27th May – Jasikaran produced before Magistrate’s Court. His lawyer tells the judge that Jasikaran has been tortured in custody. Judge orders JMO to assess claim. Afterwards, Jasikaran was returned to the same place of custody, where he was tortured again.
• 13th June – Jasikaran complains to the Magistrate Court that he has been assaulted. JMO ordered to assess. After the assessment, JMO finds that Jasikaran’s injuries are consistent with assault.
• 11th August – Jasikaran is indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. His wife Valarmathi is charged with ‘aiding and abetting’ terrorism.
• 10th December – Hearing to determine if  Jasikaran’s confession was voluntary.

Recent Developments – Nov 26th
The Free Media Movement (FMM) has reported that Jasikaran’s family received a number of threatening phone calls on November 25 and 26. The caller has demanded a ransom to ensure the safety of Jasikaran in prison. FMM has put out an urgent call for the protection of the family and Jasikaran.
( by IN)

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