27 April 2005

Alert

Oslo-based Tamil journalist victim of death threats and harassment


Incident details

Sethurupan Nadarajah

journalist(s)

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(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is very concerned about the incitement and other threats against Oslo-based independent Tamil journalist Sethurupan Nadarajah. Fearing for his and his wife's safety, the journalist appealed to RSF for assistance. The organisation has been able to confirm both the truth and the gravity of his claims.

For the past six months, Sethurupan has been the target of death threats posted on several Danish-based websites hosted in the United States, including http://www.neruppu.com.He has also received threats directly.

RSF has written to Norwegian Minister for Justice and Police Odd Einar Dorum, calling for Sethurupan to be given police protection and for a full investigation into the origins of the telephone and electronic threats against him. The organisation also urged Danish Interior Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to pinpoint the precise source of the threats.

One website carries a photomontage of Sethurupan with the caption, "Tamil terrorist. Mr Sethu collects money for the journalist Nadesan but uses it for his family. Watch out for this individual."

On 25 April 2005, Sethurupan received an e-mail in Tamil from the address tamil3rdview@yahoo.co.uk, with the message, "We have been collecting information about you. We will soon act against you. We have also informed the LTTE [Tamil Tigers]. You are a very dangerous individual for our liberation struggle. We live in Norway (. . .) and we are going to eliminate you." The IP address of the computer from which the message was sent has been identified as: 81.191.153.244. It is reportedly an Oslo address.

In another worrying incident, on 20 April, a Tamil speaker phoned the journalist and threatened his wife, a Sri Lankan nurse who is a naturalised Norwegian citizen, saying, "Where is your wife? We are going to rape and kill her because she is a prostitute."

These death threats were recently relayed by the London-based Tamil and pro-Karuna (an LTTE rebel chief who broke with the Tamil Tigers) station TBC Radio, and on the website http://www.nitharsanam.net,also based in Denmark, and with the same host server, the American company GoDaddy.

Pro-Karuna Tamil groups are believed to be behind the death threats. They accuse Sethurupan of belonging to the LTTE and of writing articles in English and Tamil about their activities in Sri Lanka and abroad.

In fact, the Tamil journalist is known to be independent. In 2001 he was threatened by LTTE supporters. He is an active member of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA), for which he is its foreign affairs representative. He currently contributes to a London-based Tamil radio station, runs several websites, including Oslo Voice, and regularly sends articles to Sri Lanka-based media outlets.



Source

Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
France
rsf (@) rsf.org
Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
 
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