Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Order police' to show Prageeth - Missing journalist's wife files a petition

The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka has decided to conduct an inquiry whether to order the police to find a missing journalist.

Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of the disappeared journalist Prageeth, has filed a petition seeking a court order to produce him before courts and release him.

KS Udayakumar reporting from Colombo said that Justice Ranjith Silva questioned how the court could order police to release Mr. Eknaligoda as there is no clue as to who is responsible for his disappearance.

The counsel for the petitioner then pointed out that the police whose duty is to protect every citizen in the country should be held responsible for the disappearance.

Prageeth, a columnist for Lankaenews web newspaper and a cartoonist, is missing since 24 January.

'Evidence provided'

Mrs. Eknaligoda told BBC Sandeshaya after the hearing that police did not inform her of progress, if any, of the investigation despite 'ample evidence' provided.

"For example they refuse to tell me whether they found the person who last called Prageeth," she said.

Sandhya Eknaligoda said police are already in the possession of the mobile phone number among other information required for further investigations.

"But police would not say whose number it is; they say the information will not be revealed claiming it might hamper the investigation."

Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other senior police officers are cited as the respondents by the petitioner.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said that the IGP must explain the circumstances of Prageeth Ekanaliyagoda's disappearance.

"There is no crime greater than a forced disappearance," the AHRC said.

"The point that has been raised repeatedly by Prageeth's wife throughout is that she suspects a government agency for being responsible for the loss of her husband. This is a serious allegation on the part of a family and such a complaint needs to be respected by any law enforcement agency or government," it added.

© BBC Sinhala

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