JVP calls for protection of right to free speech

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has called for the protection of the right to free speech.

Former JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake said that the current regime has become a “virus” against democracy and freedom of speech.

Rathnayake expressed these views in a tweet on the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) raiding the house of the former Editor of the Sunday Observer Dharisha Bastians.

“CID has seized d Laptop of former Editor, Sunday Observer. They initially arrested social media activists & now threatening journalists of main stream media. This regime has been becoming a Virus against democracy & freedom of speech.Let’s rally to protect d right to free Speech,” Rathnayake tweeted.

Bastians, who is also a correspondent for the New York Times, said in a statement yesterday that on the 29th of May 2020 and the 4th of June 2020, officials from the Criminal Investigation Department arrived at her home in Colombo and made efforts to seize her personal laptop computer without a warrant.

She said that on June 9th, 2020 five CID officials arrived at her residence in Colombo with a warrant to search the house.

“The officers searched the entire house including bedrooms, my desk and my work space. Photographs were taken during the visit. My computer was found, seized and sealed. A receipt was provided for the laptop, the power adapter and the laptop bag. Statements were recorded from family members residing at my home,” she said.

Bastians said that on a previous occasion in the course of the same investigation, the CID obtained her Call Data Records without a court order, scrutinized them and subsequently exposed the information. (Colombo Gazette)

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