Sri Lankan journalist freed after 20 hours in captivity

New York, August 30, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release today of Sri Lankan radio producer Nadaraja Guruparan, who was abducted by gunmen in the capital, Colombo, early Tuesday.

Guruparan said he was held for about 20 hours by kidnappers who had forced him out of his car as he drove to work at the privately owned Tamil-language radio station Sooriyan, or Sun FM, according to local and international news reports. He told The Associated Press the abduction was a traumatic experience that was prompting him to consider leaving his job. Police said they were investigating the abduction but would not identify suspects. The kidnapping occurred despite an intense government security presence in the capital.

“We’re relieved our colleague Nadaraja Guruparan has been released, but it comes against an alarming backdrop of numerous attacks on Tamil journalists and media organizations since the Sri Lankan civil war resumed,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We call on authorities to thoroughly investigate and to explain how Guruparan could have been abducted amid the government’s security clampdown.”

See CPJ’s August 29 alert on the case.