Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Sri Lanka 26 December 2007

France 24 journalists freed after being held for two days

Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release today of two French journalists employed by the French TV news channel France 24 - reporter Capucine Henry and cameraman Constantin Simon - who were arrested on the evening of 24 December in the southern district of Galle while travelling with a Tamil family. Henry has been told she can stay in Sri Lanka to do a report on a Bizet opera performance in Colombo.

"We applaud the efforts undertaken by French diplomats, which helped to get Henry and her cameraman freed," the press freedom organisation said. "After being arrested while doing a report on the life of a Tamil family, the two journalists remained in detention because they had not yet registered with the foreign ministry in Colombo."

Reporters Without Borders added: "We appeal to the government in Colombo to show more flexibility with foreign journalists and to let them work freely in Sri Lanka, including when they are doing reports on members of the Tamil population."

Henry is normally based in New Delhi, working for a French production company. She and Simon were arrested on the evening of 24 December while accompanying a Tamil family that was going to pay a Christmas visit to jailed relatives. The minibus carrying them and the family was stopped at an army checkpoint. The soldiers got angry when they filmed the roadblock and called the police, who arrested everyone in the bus.

Henry and Simon were interrogated by members of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), who told them they had committed a "breach of national security." The authorities also took offence at their failure to register with the foreign ministry’s press service.

The TID has told journalists in Colombo that the Tamil family and the minibus driver will also be released.




In this country
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
19 May - Sri Lanka
Army holding three doctors who gave information to press
11 May - Sri Lanka
Three foreign journalists expelled from Sri Lanka
7 May - Sri Lanka
Parliamentarian threatens online journalists
5 May - Sri Lanka
Open letter to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn about loan to Sri Lanka

in the annual report
Sri Lanka - Annual report 2008
Sri Lanka - Annual report 2007
Sri Lanka - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years