In search of Prageeth Ekneligoda

Sri Lankan missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda tops the latest “10 Most Urgent” list of journalists whose press freedoms are being suppressed or whose cases are seeking justice, published by One Free Press Coalition, a united group of pre-eminent editors and publishers.

The One Free Press Coalition, using their global reach and social platforms to spotlight journalists under attack worldwide, issued its 19th “10 Most Urgent” list of journalists whose press freedoms are being suppressed or whose cases are seeking justice.

This “10 Most Urgent” list focuses on missing journalists. Globally 64 journalists are missing, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which launched a #MissingNotForgotten campaign on August 30 to share their stories and to pressure authorities to continue investigating their disappearances. The pandemic has slowed or stopped several of the cases’ investigations.

1. Prageeth Eknelygoda (Sri Lanka)

Journalist, cartoonist and columnist abducted 10.5 years ago after leaving his house.

Prageeth Eknelygoda, a cartoonist and columnist for online news outlet Lanka eNews, was last seen by his wife and two teenage sons as he left his house for work 10.5 years ago. Ahead of the 2010 presidential election, staff of Lanka eNews faced intimidation for its opposition of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. Last year the attorney general indicted seven individuals over Eknelygoda’s abduction, and the trial is ongoing. In the past six months, Eknelygoda’s wife, Sandya, said she believed witnesses in the case were being intimidated, and threats to her and surveillance of her family had increased.

The other most urgent journalists are as follows:

2. Daysi Lizeth Mina Huamán (Peru)

Journalist’s belongings found days after her disappearance 7 months ago.

4. Vladijmir Legagneur (Haiti)

Investigation stalled 2.5 years after photojournalist’s disappearance.

5. María Esther Aguilar Cansimbe (Mexico)

Newspaper journalist vanished almost 11 years ago after covering police abuse allegations.

6. Jean Bigirimana (Burundi)

Reporter feared to be dead after four years missing.

7. Ibraimo Mbaruco (Mozambique)

Journalist went missing after leaving work 5 months ago.

8. Oralgaisha Omarshanova (Kazakhstan)

Investigative reporter last seen during business trip 13.5 years ago.

9. Azory Gwanda (Tanzania)

Investigation needed for rural reporter missing three years.

10. Samir Kassab (Syria)

Among several unresolved cases in Syria, foreign journalist missing seven years.

Based on Boston Globe

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