RSF condemns alleged assault on journalist, calls for his release

The alleged arrest and assault of Journalist Malika Abeykoon on Wednesday (07) drew international condemnation with media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calling for his immediate release.

“RSF strongly condemns the arrest of photoreporter Malika Abeykoon while he was covering a protest by health workers yesterday in Colombo. He was assaulted by the police and has been remanded until 12 April. He must be released now!” RSF stated in a tweet on Thursday (08).

Despite numerous attempts from The Morning to contact Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana for a comment on this matter, he could not be reached.

Abeykoon was allegedly assaulted and arrested while he was reporting on a protest march organized by the United Health Workers Union on Wednesday (07).

According to Duminda Nagamuwa, the convenor of the Frontline Socialist Party, Abeykoon was attacked while he was taken to the police station after being arrested at the protest site. He also added that the journalist was attacked at the police station as well.

“These are signs of the beginning of a journey of an anti-democratic era. If journalists, freelancers, dissidents and political activists are attacked, there will be no democracy left in this country,” Nagamuwa stressed.

Additionally, a protest unfolded yesterday (08) outside the Maradana Police Station against the alleged assault of Abeykoon.

Abeykoon was produced in court yesterday (08) and has been placed in remand custody until his next court appearance which is scheduled to take place on Monday (12).