The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed at a report that Armed Police Force personnel attacked and injured four journalists at Gaure, Rautahat district, in central Nepal, on February 26.
According to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), the journalists involved in the incident were Madan Thakur, a member of FNJ Rautahat chapter; Arun Yadav, of Pratik Daily; Ramgir Mukhiya, of Mathrubhumi Daily; and Dinesh Sah, of NTV.
The journalists were reportedly attacked while covering confrontations between police and local residents. Thakur told the FNJ’s Rautahat chapter president, Prem Chandra Jha, that wooden sticks and police helmets were used to strike the journalists. The journalists’ mobile phones and cameras were also destroyed in the altercation. Three of the journalists sustained injuries and were treated at Gaur Hospital.
“Journalists have an essential role in promoting peace and human rights in Nepal’s already fractious and fragile state. Police must not inhibit journalists in the conduct of their work,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.
“Nepal’s interim government must condemn such violence at the hands of authorities and rein in the behaviour of offending police personnel to ensure that all government representatives respect the role of the media in a democracy.”
The IFJ joins the FNJ in condemning the attack. Journalists are being threatened by all factions in Nepal, and the police must take responsibility to ensure their safety.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries