The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries, has condemned the latest attack on journalists by police in Nepal and called on the government to respect the safety of journalists.
On September 6, five journalists were assaulted by police wielding batons at a political protest rally in Kathmandu. One of the journalists has been hospitalised with serious injuries.
"The IFJ is horrified by the ferocity of this attack and calls on the government to immediately regain control of their police force," said IFJ President Christopher Warren.
"Police have been placed in a position of authority to protect against violence, not to instigate it," said the IFJ President.
"The Nepalese government cannot attempt to control the reporting of political activities through hostility and intimidation of journalists," said Warren.
Chuli Sandesh Weekly editor, Bharat Shahi, suffered serious injuries when police beat Shahi over the head with batons and brutally kicked him.
Police took Shahi into detention, but later admitted him to Bir Hospital. Shahi remains in a serious condition.
Communication Corner journalist, Bhimsen Rajbahak, Jana Sangharsa weekly journalist, Kamal Pariyar, The Himalayan Times photographer Rodan Rai, and Nepal One TV camera person, Gyanendra Sharma, were also subject to rough handling by police. The journalists were detained but later freed by police.
According to IFJ sources, an unidentified group posing as journalists provoked police with offensive language, triggering the attack.
"It is extremely worrying that impostors posing as journalists have provoked a violent and misdirected response by police. Political reporting is a cornerstone of successful democracy and should not be hindered or manipulated by any group," said IFJ President Christopher Warren.
"It is vital for the government to take positive steps towards restoring a peaceful democracy and ensuring journalists safety in Nepal," said the IFJ President.
For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 (0) 411 757 668
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries