Colombo: BBC says its journalist was 'beaten, punched' by army

The journalist's phone was allegedly snatched and videos deleted from the device.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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BBC's video journalist in Colombo was allegedly "punched" by a member of the Sri Lankan army, his phone snatched and footage deleted, BBC reported today.

BBC did not identify the journalist but said they had been reporting on the massive protests outside the presidential offices at the time. The Hindu also reported today that a "huge military contingent" and the police had "raided" Colombo's Galle Face, which has the site of anti-government protests, in the early hours of Friday.

The BBC journalist's colleague, Anbarasan Ethirajan, who was present at the time, said, "When we were returning from the area, a man in civilian clothes, surrounded by troops, shouted at my colleague and said he wanted to delete the videos from his phone. Within seconds, the man punched my colleague and snatched his phone."

According to BBC's report, Ethirajan "explained to them we were journalists and simply doing our job" but "they wouldn't listen".

"My colleague was attacked further and we raised strong objections. The microphone of another BBC colleague was taken and thrown away."

Ethirajan said the phone was returned after videos were deleted, and they were allowed to leave when "another army officer intervened". BBC was unable to get a response from the army or police on the attack.

Also see
article imageProtesters take over Sri Lanka's state broadcaster
article imageWhy Gotabaya Rajapaksa victory is worrying for journalists and press freedom in Sri Lanka


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