IFJ Condemns Recent Attacks on Journalists in Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed serious concern after an increase in attacks against journalists working in Nepal.

Reporter for Radio Lumbini, Bhim Prasad Gurung was shot in the chest by an unknown group at around 11.30pm on October 13 and was rushed to the Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu.

The attack occurred at his house in Kerawani village of Rupendehi, in the western district of Nepal with the motives behind the attack still unknown.

In another incident, the publisher and editor of Satya Sandesh Daily, Bijaya Tiwari was threatened on October 13 at the central city of Nepal, Birgunj when the revolutionary organisation, Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morchha (JTMM) made a verbal threat toward Tiwari.

According to IFJ affiliate the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), a member of the JTMM identified as Akash called the editor and forced him to donate to their organisation. Akash also threatened to kill Tiwari if he did not donate to the JTMM.

IFJ Asia-Pacific director Jacqueline Park has demanded that the government step up in its efforts to take serious action against the perpetrators and to investigate all attacks on journalists.

“The Government must take responsibility and do their part to crack down on illegal activities and to prevent further violence towards journalists,” Park said.

The IFJ is also concerned about the whereabouts of missing Nepali journalist Birendra Shah who was abducted over 12 days ago from Pipara Bazaar, Kalaiya in the central region of Nepal on October 5.

On October 16 the parliament of Nepal formed a parliamentary committee to investigate Shah’s abduction case. The FNJ has informed the IFJ that police arrested two suspected Maoists on October 16 in Birgunj in relation to Shah’s abduction.

“The IFJ remains alert for any news about Birendra Shah’s welfare and location and urges his captors to release him safely to his family,” Park said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in more than 115 countries