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Sri Lanka

Tamil journalist gets 20 years' jail

September 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A Sri Lankan reporter singled out by President Obama as an example of persecuted journalists around the globe was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of violating an anti-terrorism law.

J.S. Tissainayagam's articles in the now-defunct Northeastern Monthly magazine in 2006 and 2007 criticized the conduct of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels and accused authorities of withholding food and other essential items from Tamil areas as a tool of war.

Tissainayagam's conviction, 17 months after the ethnic Tamil reporter was arrested, was the first time a journalist was found guilty of violating the country's Prevention of Terrorism Act.

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