Sri Lankan journalist granted bail

January 12, 2010

Great news!  The detained Sri Lankan journalist, J.S. Tissainayagam, was granted bail today by the court in Sri Lanka.  He is appealing the 20-year sentence he received last August under Sri Lanka’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, all for publishing two magazine articles critical of the government’s conduct of the war against the Tamil Tigers.  Amnesty International considers him to be a “prisoner of conscience,” imprisoned solely for his legitimate journalistic activities, and calls for his immediate, unconditional release.  Last May, President Obama singled him out for praise as an emblematic example of journalists unjustly imprisoned for exercising their profession.  Today, the court granted his application to be released on bail while his appeal against the 20-year sentence is pending.

While it’s great that he won’t be in prison while his appeal is pending, he should never have been charged or tried in the first place.  We’ll keep working on his behalf until he’s free of the unjust charges brought against him.  Please join our campaign and call for his immediate, unconditional release.