Nepal's Home Minister Urged to Intervene in Anti-Media Campaign

 

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Federation of Nepali

Journalists (FNJ), in calling on Nepal’s Home Minister to publicly

condemn the violence and abuse against journalists and media houses which has

intensified since October.

 

According to the FNJ, daily

reports of violence by members of the public, organised political groups and

unidentified gangs pose a serious safety crisis for journalists, for whom Nepal’s

Government is not providing adequate protection.

 

A correspondent for Gorkhapatra Daily, Rajesh Chamling Rai,

was attacked by a group of protesters at a student union demonstration in

Ghantaghar, Kathmandu, on November 24. His

notebook and important papers were confiscated and destroyed.

 

On November 21, Bharat Adhikari,

of Himal Media, was verbally threatened by a man reportedly connected to the Maoist

Trade Union in a separate incident in Banepa in the Kavre district of

Kathmandu. The threats were mainly related to content in the current edition of

Himal magazine.

 

The Himal Media group has been

subjected to a succession of threats and physical attacks, including repeated

death threats against three Himal journalists

and an arson attack on the office of the group’s distributors in Maitigahr, Kathmandu, on November 16.

 

On October 25, a Himal Media van

was badly damaged while transporting the company’s chief executive officer when

attackers on motorbikes threw rocks at it.

 

“Acts of violence against journalists

and media houses will impede Nepal’s

democratic transition, as a free media and freedom of expression are integral

to a successful transition,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

said.

 

“Protection and safety for

individual journalists and media workers must be a priority for all media

houses.”

 

The IFJ joins the FNJ in appealing

to Nepal’s

Home Minister to honour his responsibility to protect journalists in their

professional work, and to assist in efforts to raise awareness among the public

about the social benefits of an independent and critical media.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide