IFJ Calls on Nepal Authorities to Step Up Protection of Journalists

The International

Federation of Journalists strongly urges local and national authorities in

Nepal to enforce heightened

security measures and protection for journalists in all regions of Nepal

and ensure that the perpetrators of the recent spate of violent attacks are

brought to justice.

 

According to the

Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, media monitors in the

mid-western and western regions of Nepal received reports of three new

incidents of violence against journalists

overnight.

 

On July 29, local

correspondent of Radio Nepal K.B. Bana and ABC Television correspondent Deepak

Bhattarai were allegedly beaten by police officials while covering a clash

between police and locals at Dumkibas in the Nawalparasi

district.

 

The journalists were

allegedly ambushed on their way back to a hotel, with police using gun butts,

lathis (sticks) and their boots as weapons. Rana sustained a severe injury to

his head and remains in a critical condition in

hospital.

 

News correspondent of the

Butwal Today daily and Nepal FM

Govinda Luitel allegedly received telephone death threats from an official of

the Devinagar Village Development Committee (VDC) in the western district of

Palpa on July 28. The threat was reportedly related to an article Luitel

published revealing unfavourable information about the

VDC.

 

In the mid-western

district of Bardiya, Kantipur national daily correspondent and central council member of the FNJ

Bardiya chapter Kamal Bahadur Panthi, was also allegedly threatened by an

official from the District Administrative Office for his investigative report on

allegations of corruption.

 

“Free and fair reporting

in all regions of Nepal and an independent media are

crucial to stabilising the country,” said the IFJ

Asia-Pacific.

 

“Journalists must have a

safe right of passage to report on all incidents of public interest, including

political events, conflict and corruption, and police must ensure adequate

security is provided.”

 

“Reports of police

instigating violence against journalists are particularly worrying and undermine

democratic freedoms in Nepal.”

 

The IFJ joins the FNJ in

condemning all threats and attacks on journalists for their work and demanding

the Nepal authorities immediately provide

improved protection and security for journalists during the current public

unrest.

 

 

For

further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide