The People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists in Hague will today (12) commence hearing evidence in the assasination of slain Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.
The tribunal does not have the legal capacity to punish perpetrators if found guilty; however, the evidence heard will invite global awareness to the issue of attacks on journalists.
“And if a guilty judgement is delivered, it will put those that have long been considered responsible for my father’s killing in a negative spotlight,” Lasanth’s daughter Ahimsa Wickrematunge has noted.
The Free Press Unlimited, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders established a People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists, to indict states that have neglected their obligation to guarantee the safety of journalists.
The Tribunal consists of five hearings, and culminates with a closing hearing in May 2022. In the interim, three case hearings are held.
For the Sri Lanka case hearing, the Tribunal’s Lead Prosecutor has investigated the conduct of the Sri Lankan government in the case of the unsolved murder of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.
The Government of Sri Lanka has been officially notified about the Prosecution’s indictment by the independent Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT). The indictment alleges the government’s complicity in failing to protect Lasantha Wickrematunge.
The government has been invited to exercise its right of defense during the hearing.