The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
is alarmed at a recent spike in media rights violations against journalists and
media houses across Nepal.
According to the Federation of Nepali Journalists
(FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, four incidents of violence against media personnel in
different locations have raised concerns about the public’s understanding of
the beneficial role of journalists and the independent media in Nepal’s
On November 18, the Sunsari regional bureau of
Avenues Television was attacked by a group reportedly led by the legal adviser
of the Khumbuwan Rastriya Morche (KRM) district committee in Itahari, in Nepal’s
east. The attackers threatened bureau chief Sachin Pokharel and correspondent
Somnath Bastola and physically abused office assistant Deepak Karki. They vowed
to bomb the premises.
The FNJ said it was believed the attack may have
been motivated by information obtained by Avenues Television in relation to a
land dispute involving KRM.
On November 17, in the Nuwakot district of central Nepal, Nuwakot Jagatan weekly editor and
publisher Shiva Devkota received serious injuries to his right hand in a
targeted attack while he was participating in a public awareness campaign
organised by the Nepali Congress.
On November 16, the offices of The Himal Khabar Patrika magazine in Kathmandu
were destroyed by fire. In addition, thousands of magazines were destroyed by a
group of people reportedly from a customer solutions company. The assailants
also allegedly stole three mobile phones from The Himal staff.
On November 13, the eastern regional office of the
National News Agency (RSS) in Biratnagar was vandalised by an unknown group.
“Regular attacks against journalists and media in Nepal by members
of the public highlight a worrying and widespread misunderstanding among
ordinary people about the role of journalists as watchdogs and defenders of the
public interest,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
Government must take a lead immediately to condemn attacks on journalists and
media houses and to alert the wider public to its recognition of and support
for the valuable and independent role of the media in a democratic society.”
The IFJ joins the FNJ in condemning all attacks on
media personnel in Nepal
and calling on authorities to ensure improved security for journalists and to investigate
thoroughly all such incidents.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide