Sri Lankan Newspaper Outs Suspected Porn Performers
Police have asked the public to report on anyone they recognize in the photos and have been given the green light by a local magistrate to arrest suspected porn talent who could face fines and six months in prison.
Despite the government's request to publish the photos, all national dailies reportedly refused to print them except for the Lakbima Sinhalese newspaper that published the mugshots at the bottom of page two, without any reference to the allegations against them.
But police have identified 80 women and three men in the sweep who authorities said have acted in films found on websites. Most of the outed actors are native Sri Lankans, according to an official who said they can be recognized by their features.
"This is illegal and we need them to be identified for investigations," police spokesman Priyashanth Jayakody said.
Three months ago, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission had reportedly blocked about 100 porn sites and police have been arresting people with porn on their mobile phones.
A Sri Lankan civil rights lawyer, Rohan Edrisinha, cautioned that some of the accused performers could be underage girls, who he said should be considered victims rather than voluntary participants.
He said he feared publication of the photos would violate privacy and civil liberties and added that the anti-porn crusade needed a "careful, measured response."