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In latest attempt to silence Jaffna daily, paper receives telephone threats

(FMM/IFEX) - The following is an FMM media release:

Newspaper office receives threatening phone call
Attempts to silence Jaffna daily "Uthayan"

9 January 2008, Colombo - The Free Media Movement is deeply concerned and condemns the attempt to silence the "Uthayan" newspaper, published in Jaffna.

According to the Managing Director of the newspaper, Mr. E. Saravanapavan, the threat had been made over the phone, and the caller is alleged to have told the staff member who answered the call that the newspaper must stop functioning immediately. The threatening phone call had been made to the newspaper office on 6 January 2008 around 10.45 a.m. (local time).

When the staff member inquired about the caller's identity, he was told it was the Kayts police station. A complaint was filed with the Jaffna Police on 8 January.

This is not the first instance the "Uthayan" newspaper receives threats. Acts of intimidation have ranged from its staff being killed to attacks of its building and obstructing the newspaper's distribution.

The FMM reiterates its stand that freedom of expression is essential for democracy to flourish and requests that the Inspector General of Police look into the matter immediately and put a stop to media intimidation.

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