IFJ Warns Over Ongoing Safety Crisis After Kidnapping of Reporter by Maoists in Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is extremely concerned for the safety of journalists JB Pun Magar, after his abduction by Maoists in the Kapilbastu district, 200 KM southwest of Kathmandu.

Magar, staff reporter of the fortnightly magazine Himal Khabarpatrika , was abducted while on assignment covering the conflict in the district.

"He is a very professional journalist who was objective and fair even in the most challenging assignment, we appeal to the Maoists to immediately release him. It is unfortunate that the Maoists have detained him at a time when the state has also been harassing the media," said Rajendra Dahal, editor of the Himal Khabarpatrika

”The kidnapping of Magar at such a crucial time when journalists are being harassed, detained and censored is indicative of the general level of disrespect for journalists’ rights that exists currently in Nepal, “ said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

"The Maoists have pledged to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists that they would respect journalists rights. We urge them to honour that pledge by releasing Magar immediately."

The IFJ, the global journalists’ organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is calling for Magar’s immediate release and for an immediate return to democracy and a free and independent media in Nepal.

Magar was previously detained and mistreated by soldiers of the Royal Nepal Army in November 2004 while covering an anti-Maoist group.

For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries