Thursday, 31 October 2013 01:13
The Asia Pacific Director of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Jacqueline Park and another IFJ member were detained by the Immigration Department in Colombo yesterday.
Both IFJ representatives were attending a workshop organised by the Free Media Movement (FMM) when they were detained.
The two activists will be deported, Immigration authorities revealed.
An FMM representative told the Colombo Gazette that the IFJ members had been “arrested” on the basis that they had conducted the workshop while in Sri Lanka on tourist visas.
Some 10 officers of the Immigration Department arrived at the Janaki Hotel and arrested the IFJ Director, FMM Convener Sunil Jayasekera said.
The FMM however says the two members were only participating as guests at the workshop and were not involved in organising it.
The Investigations Unit of the Immigration and Emigration Department however said the two IFJ representatives from Australia were questioned and not arrested.
The Immigration and Emigration Department said the two Australians were questioned about their motives to visit Sri Lanka. Both were in the country on tourist visas.