Fears

COLOMBO, November 4, 2013 (AFP) – A media rights group Monday expressed fears for the safety of journalists in Sri Lanka after Colombo grilled two Australian activists and seized computer data before kicking them out. The Free Media Movement (FMM) said it expected a crackdown by the authorities following last week’s questioning of the two International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) staffers in Colombo.

“We have very serious doubts about our own safety and that of independent journalists after the detention of IFJ officials last week,” FMM leader Sunil Jayasekera told reporters in Colombo.

He said the two activists — Jacqui Park and Jean Worthington — were questioned by the police Criminal Investigations Department and immigration authorities about their local contacts.

Their computer files had been hacked and storage discs destroyed, Jayasekera said.
The two Australians were detained last Wednesday while they were at a workshop on media freedom in Colombo, accused of violating their visa conditions and expelled from the country, according to immigration officials.

However, the FMM said the pair were told by the immigration department Friday that “it was all a big misunderstanding” and they wer