Sri Lanka: Journalist freed on bail

***UPDATE (4 May 2010): English PEN warmly welcomes the announcement that on 3 May 2010 – World Press Freedom Day – Tamil journalist Jayaprakash Sittampalam (J. S.) Tissainayagam received a presidential pardon. J.S. Tissainayagam was detained in March 2008 and sentenced to twenty years in prison for his critical writings. He was released on bail on 11 January 2010 pending appeal. For more information, please click here. ***

English PEN warmly welcomes the news that Sri Lankan journalist J.S Tissainayagam has been released on bail, pending appeal. According to our information Tissainayagam, who was serving a twenty year sentence for his critical writings, was released on bail on 11 January 2010. His sudden release is widely believed to be a political move ahead of the presidential election later this month. Although we welcome his release, we continue to call for the charges against him to be dropped. For more information, please click here.

To read PEN’s previous bulletin on Tissa’s case, please click here.

Please send appeals:

• Welcoming the release on bail of J.S Tissainayagam; 
• Calling for all charges against Tissainayagam to be dropped, in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sri Lanka is a state party.

Appeals to:

His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 1
Sri Lanka
Fax: 94 11 2446657
Salutation: Your Excellency

Hon. Amarasiri Dodangoda
Minister of Justice and Law Reforms
Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms
Superior Courts Complex,
Colombo 12
Sri Lanka
Fax: 94 11 2445447
Salutation: Dear Minister

H. M. G.  S.  Palihakkara
Permanent Mission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
#630, 3rd Avenue (20th Floor)
New York  10017 
United States America
Fax 1 (212) 986-1838 

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Sri Lanka in your country if possible:

His Excellency Justice Nihal Jayasinghe

High Commission of Sri Lanka
13 Hyde Park Gardens
London W2 2LU
United Kingdom

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