Journalist Assaulted and Arrested in Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) notes with alarm that

police in Nepal brutally assaulted Bimal Bista, a correspondent for Nepal Samachar Patra, before taking him

into custody in the district headquarters town of Doti in the country’s far

west on August 23.


According to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ

affiliate, Bista was on a reporting assignment, seeking information on some

local disputes, when he was hustled into a police van and badly beaten up. He is

reportedly still in custody.


“The IFJ endorses the FNJ’s demand that Bista be released immediately,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “This brutality against a

journalist who was just doing his job should be properly investigated and

action taken against the police responsible.”


The IFJ remains concerned that the

political transition in Nepal

has involved multiple hazards for the media, with state and non-state actors

continuing to enjoy impunity for their attacks on individual journalists and

media establishments.


“We are also worried about the

serious instance that has been brought to our notice of copies of Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s

largest circulation newspapers in the Nepali and English languages, being burnt

in public by activists of a political party in the terai region,” Park said.


According to the FNJ, the head of

the political party in the region issued a statement claiming credit for the

arson attack, justifying it on the grounds that the newspaper group had

disregarded his party’s campaign to banish Nepali language media from the terai.


The IFJ is appalled by this attempt

to impose linguistic exclusion and insists that all people anywhere in Nepal

should have the opportunity to access media of their choice, in a language that

they can best comprehend and bond with.


“The IFJ appeals to all political

groups in Nepal to

acknowledge the right of the people to choose and to carry out their activism

on the terrain where it is appropriate, which would be the ongoing effort to

write a republican constitution for the people of Nepal,” Park said.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



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