Sri Lanka arrests 3 UK television journalists

Nick Paton Walsh, the reporter who brought you the grim situation from the IDP camps, has been arrested and will be deported shortly, reports AP and Daily Mirror.

Sri Lankan police arrested three journalists for London-based Channel-4 television news Saturday on charges of tarnishing the image of the government security forces.

Nick Paton Walsh, the channel’s Asian correspondent told the Associated Press by telephone that he had been arrested along with producer Bessie Du and cameraman Matt Jasper.

Walsh said he and the crew were being driven to capital Colombo with police escort. The three had been covering fierce fighting between government forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers.

Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera confirmed the trio were arrested in the eastern city of Trincomalee on Saturday. He said investigations are continuing.

Walsh said he believed the arrests were connected to a recent report the crew filed on conditions for war refugees and alleged sexual abuse in camps for those who fled the northern war zone.

Reports Associated Press via Google News. And Daily Mirror says,

A reporter attached to the British Channel 4 network is to be deported from Sri Lanka over allegations his reporting had tarnished the image of the country. The immigration and emigration department said his visa has been cancelled.

Channel 4 had recently aired a video shot inside the vavuniya camp for the displaced people and made claims of abuses taking place in the facility.

InMutiny welcomes your views on the matter, and the Sri Lankan media sphere as a whole.

Update (11/05/2009) : Nick Patten writes a blogpost about his experience in Sri Lanka.

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One response to “Sri Lanka arrests 3 UK television journalists

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Sri Lanka: British Journalists Arrested

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