The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) learns with great distress that J.P. Joshi alias Pandit, a journalist missing since October 8 from his home in Nepal’s far-western district of Kailali, may have been murdered.
According to information from the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and the National Union of Journalists (Nepal), both IFJ affiliates, human remains found in a forest in the far-west of Nepal have been identified by Joshi’s family, on the basis of documents and other belongings found nearby.
The skeletal remains have been referred for forensic examination to a hospital in Kathmandu.
Joshi was the editor of the far-western editions of the Nepali language daily Janadisha. He was a member of the FNJ and also president of the Kailali chapter of the Revolutionary Journalists’ Organisation.
The IFJ urges Nepal’s authorities to pursue every lead in investigating Joshi’s disappearance and suspected murder.
According to the FNJ, Joshi’s family has identified two brothers as suspects. The brothers had been named by Joshi in a recent report for alleged involvement in illicit trade in tiger skins. One brother is now in custody, while the other is reported to have absconded.
The FNJ believes that certain political forces, about whom Joshi had been sharply critical in recent writings, could be involved.
The FNJ, in association with all other organisations representing journalists in Nepal, organised demonstrations in Kathmandu on November 30 and in Janakpur on December 1 to press the case for a thorough investigation.
“The IFJ extends it solidarity to the journalists of Nepal in this hour of deep anguish and urges that thorough measures of security be instituted for media workers who put themselves at risk by reporting on matters of public interest,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries