Newspaper Vehicle Torched As Anti-Media Violence Continues in Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed at the frequency of attacks on

journalists and media workers in Nepal after yet another violent incident on February 20.


The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, reports that a Kantipur Publications

vehicle was torched by cadres of the Federal Limbuwan State Council (FLSC) on the Surunga-

Birtamod road in the eastern region of Nepal.


The vehicle contained 8000 copies of Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post dailies.

According to a vice-president of the FNJ, Sanjaya Santoshi Rai, the vehicle was heading to

Jhapa when it was stopped by a dozen FLSC cadres who then set fire to it.


The cadres were reported as saying that news published in Kantipur had led to arrests of fellow FLSC cadres.

Driver Hom Moktan and distributor Ganga Ram Bhandari were immobilised by the group. Their

mobile phones were also confiscated before the vehicle was torched.


The IFJ supports the FNJ’s condemnation of the attack as a deliberate act of spite and revenge

that demonstrates a lack of respect for the values of press freedom in Nepal’s transition to

democracy.


“How many more cases of violence against journalists are we going to hear about before the

Nepali government and local authorities take a stand and offer better protection to the media?”

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“If the Government is serious about moving forward into a peaceful democratic state, there must

be a safe environment for journalists to fulfill their professional duties.”


This latest attack adds to the accumulating list of assaults on media workers in Nepal, with 22

cases of physical harassment of journalists recorded so far this year.


The IFJ joins the FNJ in condemning attacks against journalists by all organised groups and

reiterates that for press freedom to prevail, the media must be able to operate without fear or

intimidation.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries