Journalists Attacked and Work Destroyed in Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has again called for greater protections for media workers in Nepal after reports of intimidation and violent attacks on journalists.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), journalists Deepak Gyawali and Chopraj Sharma were attacked by a group of students while they were reporting on an event at Butwal Multiple College on February 27.

Gyawali reportedly sustained injuries to his head and Sharma incurred back injuries.

“This sort of violent and aggressive behaviour interferes with the right of journalists to carry out their work in a safe and secure manner,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

In an earlier and unrelated incident, Dharma Pal Raut and Shiva Narayan Shah, both employed by Rajbiraj Today, were reportedly stopped on February 24 by members of Tharu Kalyankari Sabha, an organisation demanding a separate Tharu state.

According to reports from the FNJ, organisation members seized the pair’s camera and deleted photographs before taking the keys to their motorcycles; forcing them to walk for one kilometre prior to giving them back.

“Destroying the equipment and work of journalists is a direct affront to press freedom, and this is absolutely disgraceful behaviour” Warren said.

“The IFJ supports the FNJ in condemning the attacks, and calls for a full investigation into both these incidents to ensure that journalists can travel and work freely without the threat of violent attacks.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries