SRI LANKA : Dushyantha Basnayake (m), Director of newspaper, aged 40 and 16 other journalists Incommunicado detention/Fear of Torture or ill-treatment/Detention without charge

ASA 37/015/2007

Further Information on UA 47/07 (ASA 37/003/2007, 27 February 2007) and follow-up (ASA 37/008/2007, 29 March 2007)

29 June 2007

Dushyantha Basnayake is now known to have been released without charge on 15 May, on the orders of the Supreme Court.

He had been detained in the capital, Colombo, on 26 February by Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) officers. He is the Director of Sinhala newspaper Mawbima, and his arrest is thought to have been connected to the newspaper’s criticism of the government. Mawbima had recently carried articles that criticised President Mahinda Rajapakse’s support for a military solution to the ongoing conflict between the security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) armed group.

The 16 other journalists are still in custody, but there is no further news of them. Amnesty International will continue to monitor their situation, and take further campaigning action as necessary.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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