The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands an immediate police inquiry into the mob-attack of two media workers at a casino in the Lazimpat district of Kathmandu, Nepal, on June 10.
According to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, Avenues Television correspondent Diliraj Pokhrel and cameraman Niran Raj Bana were severely beaten by a group of more than 50 to 60 people when they arrived at Casino Venus to report on a confrontation between staff and police.
Pokhrel and Bana told the FNJ they had been at the casino the previous day to report on a police raid and returned at the request of the casino staff.
Bana suffered facial wounds and his camera was damaged. Pokhrel was also reported to be badly injured.
The FNJ issued a strong demand to the Government to take appropriate action against the attackers and to order compensation be paid for the damaged camera as it appears the journalists may have been set up for the ambush.
On the same day, Maoist activists reportedly seized control of a delivery van for Kantipur daily in Rupandehi district in Nepal’s south and burnt copies of the newspaper.
“The Information and Communications Minister, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, signed an agreement with the FNJ in January this year confirming the Nepal Government’s commitment to safeguarding press freedom and the safety of individual media workers,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“With attacks continuing against individual journalists, the Government needs to make good on its commitment.”
The IFJ joins the FNJ in demanding greater government intervention and investigation on all reported attacks against journalists and media houses as part of nation-wide campaign to secure media freedom as one of the pillars of a successful democracy in Nepal.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide