President of Federation of Nepalese Journalists Calls for Global Action Over Media Safety

<center>Copyright AFP</center>

Dear President and all IFJ friends,

I think you know every thing of Nepal from outside of the country and diplomatic channels.

I have been underground since Thursday, 3 February, because of the critical situation in Nepal. Since Thursday morning the army has been standing outside my house and the FNJ office too.

Luckily, I have not been arrested and I am safe.

On Thursday security persons followed me before I went into hiding. I was out of contact so my organisation issued a press statement about my General Secretary, Bishnu Nisthuri, and me.

Every thing is closed and telephone and email are not working.

Security forces and the army are searching for me. Now I am safe but my family (wife and two children) are getting continual harassment and threats from the army.

I hope that you got the FNJ statement. This is our stand.

Now all media house are closed. Close to 30, 000 media employees have lost their jobs. TV, Radio, cable, local newspapers are closed. We have no foreign media sources accept BBC and CNN.

I have no confirmed information from the rest of the country but we are trying to find out solid information from outside the capital.

We are initiating action for journalists’ safety.

I have no information about my General Secretary, Bishnu Nisthuri. I just know some other journalists are also arrested.

The Nepal situation is critical. We need more pressure from outside.

Now, lots of thanks for your strong and continued support for us and me.

I ask that you provide this information to the media community of the world.

Tara Nath Dahal
Federation of Nepalese Journalists

7 February 2005