BBC concerned over Sri Lankan reporter being questioned by anti-terrorism squad

London, Sept. 4 (ANI): The BBC has expressed concern over the questioning of a Tamil reporter in connection with phone conversations that he had with prisoners by the Terrorism Investigation Division in Sri Lanka.

Ponnaiah Manikavasagam was questioned in Colombo on Monday over phone conversations that he had with two Tamil prisoners who are under trial and detained at Colombo's Magazine prison.

Manikavasagam was not allowed a lawyer during the interview.

Press freedom groups, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), condemned his treatment, the report added.

Manikavasagam has reported for the BBC World Service for more than 15 years from northern Sri Lanka.

The BBC said it was confident that all his activities were carried out in pursuit of his normal journalistic duties.

The investigation came after the UN's human rights chief Navi Pillay lambasted Sri Lanka for becoming increasingly authoritarian.

The Colombo's Magazine prison is known for holding hundreds of Tamil prisoners suspected of links with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lanka's army defeated separatist Tamil rebels after a brutal 26-year war in 2009. (ANI)


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