Amnesty urges Sri Lanka to halt harassment of civil rights activists

Amnesty International has called on the Sri Lankan government to end a crackdown on journalists, political activists and human rights defenders since last week’s presidential election.

The group said since the January 26 election, opposition supporters and journalists have been arrested, several prominent newspaper editors have received death threats and trade unionists harassed.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa won re-election in the face of a challege from his former army chief Sarath Fonseka.

Madhu Malhotra, Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific deputy director, said “victory against the Tamil Tigers followed by an historic election should have ended political repression in Sri Lanka, but instead we have seen a serious clampdown on freedom of expression”.

 

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