Attacks on Nepal's Journalists Alarmingly Regular, says IFJ

 

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is dismayed at regular reports of violence against

journalists and vandalism of media equipment amid deteriorating  public respect for the media community in Nepal.

 

According to the Federation of

Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, there were three separate incidents

on November 20 in which members of the public seriously abused journalists.

 

In the eastern Sunsari region, five journalists reported

receiving death threats via telephone from an unidentified group. Birendra KM,

Ekwal Ahamad, Jaya Krishna Yadav, Pramod Yadav and Dhirendra Chaudhary were

reportedly all threatened due a report on child abuse published in a local

newspaper two weeks ago.

 

A vehicle for the local ABC Nepal television

station was attacked and vandalised by an unidentified group while carrying

media personnel to Balaju in the industrial suburbs of Kathmandu

to report on a strike organised by the Citizens’ Struggle Committee to protest

the murder of two local sportsmen. Nabin Khadka, the driver of the vehicle, was

reportedly injured in the incident.

 

In the eastern Udayapur region,

journalist and joint secretary of the FNJ, Udayapur Chaprter, was reportedly

abused by the manager of a cement industries company when he visited the

business to gather information about corruption in the industry. The company’s

general manager has since issued an apology.

“As Nepal tries to

stabilise during its transition to democratic governance, journalists are an

invaluable asset to communicate important information to the public about political

change and progress and therefore must be able to report freely and

independently without fear of physical abuse,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific said.

“Nepal’s

Government and police must take concrete action to intervene and stop the violent

attacks on media personnel that are becoming increasingly commonplace.”

The IFJ joins the FNJ in condemning all attacks on the media

and demanding a visible increase in the response of law enforcement agencies to

ensure that the perpetrators of violence are brought to justice.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide