Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Unified Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist) to end politically motivated violence against local media, after a
photojournalist was assaulted as he reported on party-led protests in Kathmandu on May 9.
The Unified CPN (M), had earlier this year made a
public statement to say the rights and safety of media personnel would be
respected by its members and supporters during planned general strikes this
However, the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ),
an IFJ affiliate, reports several incidents of targeted violence against
journalists by Unified CPN (M) cadres across the country.
On May 10, Avenues Television cameraman Rabindra
Shrestha and Associated News Agency photographer Prabin Maharjanwere reportedly
beaten by a group of Maoist activists at a demonstration outside the Nepali Parliament.
According to the FNJ, Shrestha was seriously injured after being hit with metal
rods and sticks. His camera was also destroyed.
The FNJ expressed concern over speeches made by
Unified CPN (M) leaders at a protest rally in Dhangadi in western Nepal on
May 8, in which they accused journalists of slandering the Maoist movement and
threatened retribution. The FNJ fears the comments encouraged the attack on
Shrestha and other journalists.
On May 6 in Gogabu, in Nepal’s Central Region, journalist
and cameraman Sri Krishna Phuyal was attacked by Maoist protesters despite identifying
himself as a journalist.
During nationwide general protests
5, Unified CPN (M) supporters reportedly attacked the assistant editor of Shikshak Monthly,Sudarshan Ghimire, in Kathmandu, according to the FNJ.
Gyanendra Niraula and RSS Surkhet correspondent Kashi Ram Sharma were also reportedly attacked on the same day in
Jhapa, a district in East Nepal, and Birendranagar, a district in West Nepal respectively.
Ramesh Chandra Adhikari, Dhankuta correspondent
of the Kantipur daily, was threatened
by Maoist cadres over a news item he published on the same day.
authorities must take responsibility to ensure all people in Nepal,
including those active in political parties, understand that journalists must
be permitted to safely conduct independent reporting on all aspects of the
political spectrum. This is a vital element in facilitating a peaceful democratic
process,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
The IFJ urges the leaders of the Unified
CPN (M) to adhere to their publicly stated commitment that the party will not
obstruct media and journalists in the course of their political activities.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide