IFJ Protests Against Crackdown on Press Freedom in Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists has sent a letter of protest to the Prime Minister of Nepal, voicing its concern over the recent death threat against journalist Resham Birahi and concerns over missing journalist Ram Hari Chaulagain.


The IFJ have protested to the Government of Nepal in the following letter:


3 September 2003


Right Hon. Lokendra Bahadur Chand

Prime Minister

Prime Minister’s Office

Singh Dubar

Kathmandu

Kingdom of Nepal

VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 977 1227 286



Your Excellency,


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s largest journalists’ organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned over the recent death threat against journalist Resham Birahi and the missing journalist Ram Hari Chaulagain.


According to our information, on 28 August 2003 at 9.00pm local time Birahi was threatened by Communist Party of Nepal members (CPN-Maoist).


Birahi is the central counsellor of the Federation of the Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) and an adviser to Press Chautari Nepal. Birahi was criticised for criticising the ongoing war in Nepal. Maoist rebels have repeatedly threatened and criticised journalists whose reporting criticised the "People's War."


In a separate incident earlier that afternoon Ram Hari was declared missing. According to our information Chaulagain, a reporter for Sanghu Weekly has been missing since the afternoon of 28 August, after having last been seen escorted to a car by an unidentified man.


We strongly recommend that your government launch an investigation into the possible relationship between these two incidents.


The IFJ strongly condemns the growing number of threats and assaults that are being made by the Communist Party of Nepal against journalists. The IFJ calls upon your government to launch a full investigation into missing journalists and incidences of threats against these journalists and to ensure that those involved in these actions are brought to justice.


Further more the IFJ calls on the Nepalese government to express your commitment to press freedom and to ensure the safety of all journalists in Nepal.


Yours sincerely,



Christopher Warren

President, IFJ


Recommended action:


Send appeals:

  • Condemning the threats of violence against Resham Birahi

  • Urging an investigation into the case of missing journalist Ram Hari Chaulagain

  • Urging the Government of Nepal to begin a full investigation into all similar cases.

  • Urging the Government to ensure the safety of all journalists working in Nepal.


  • Appeals:


    Right Hon. Lokendra Bahadur Chand

    Prime Minister

    Prime Minister’s Office

    Singh Dubar

    Kathmandu

    Kingdom of Nepal

    VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 977 1227 286



    Please copy appeals to the IFJ Asia Office at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au