Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

British reporter shot in Sri Lanka

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said Sri Lankan authorities 'must quickly identify' who shot a British journalist

A British journalist is in intensive care in a Sri Lankan hospital after being shot in what a senior United Nations official said was an attempted assassination.

Faraz Shauketaly, who works for the Sunday Leader newspaper, is said to have suffered serious injuries to his neck in an attack by three gunmen in his home on the island.

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said it "remained unclear" whether the incident - the latest in a spate against reporters - was related to Mr Shauketaly's work on the English-language paper.

Mr Burt said the Sri Lankan authorities "must quickly identify who committed this crime and bring them to justice" - accusing them of doing too little to investigate previous incidents.

And the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she was "deeply disturbed" by the attack on someone who worked for a publication critical of the Sri Lankan government.

Sunday Leader editor Sakunthala Perera said the gunmen stormed the home of the journalist - who holds dual UK/Sri Lankan nationality - on Friday in Mount Lavinia on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo.

He is reported to be awaiting surgery and has been visited in hospital by UK consular staff.

Mr Burt said: "There has been a range of attacks in Sri Lanka on journalists, civil society organisations and others in recent years. To date, too many incidents have had little investigation and no resolution. The UK and EU have urged the Government of Sri Lanka to do everything possible to investigate such incidences and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice."

Ms Pillay said: "I'm deeply disturbed by this particular shooting because it's a journalist and he's attached to a newspaper that's known to be critical of the government - particularly on accountability and in justice issues - which are issues that I cover.

"I will be reporting to the Human Rights Council my concern over extra judicial killings, abductions and this kind of treatment and suppression of freedom of expression."

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