IFJ Demands Action Over Abduction of Journalist in Nepal

The International

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

Journalists (FNJ) in demanding an immediate government investigation into the

abduction of journalist Keshav Bohara in Nepal’s mid-west on June 30.

 

Bohara had reportedly received death threats in recent

weeks, in relation to his reporting for Mandavi Radio in the town of Tiram, Pyuthan district.

 

The FNJ reports that Bohara’s comments on May 27 about a Maoist cadre’s involvement in a land

dispute and subsequent delays to a housing project had attracted threats

from an unknown group.

 

Bohara then alerted his colleagues,

local authorities, the Nepal Congress and Communist Party of Nepal officials about

the threats and his concerns for his personal safety.

 

Immediately after his abduction, Bohara’s colleagues

reported receiving a call from Bohara’s telephone in which his cries for help

could be heard clearly.

 

A delegation from the FNJ’s Pyuthan chapter is collaborating with local police to investigate

the whereabouts of Bohara. A mission team from the FNJ’s central committee is

also investigating the case. 

 

“The abduction

of Keshav Bohara is just

the latest case of a political group in Nepal taking the law into their own

hands,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ demands that Nepal’s authorities conduct a full

and far-reaching investigation to ensure the prompt safe return of Bohara and to

prosecute those responsible.”

 

Meanwhile, a member of the Youth Force affiliated to the Communist

Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) vandalised the office of Janasamsad Daily in Jhapa, Terai district after the

paper reported on the force’s alleged involvement in a criminal matter.

 

Youth Force central committee member

Raju Karki is reported to have invaded the newspaper’s office and damaged the

organisation’s furniture as retribution for the report.

 

The IFJ and the FNJ condemn such acts of intimidation, and call

on the CPN-UML to direct all members and associates to respect the media’s

right to report in the public interest.

 

Compensation should be paid for the damaged equipment, and the

CPN-UML party administration should duly punish members who engage in such attacks

on the media.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 125 countries worldwide