Nepal: Police attack journalist during South Asia Games protests

Police attacked Suman Chapagain, a journalist with Nagarik News while he was reporting on protests at the Dasrath stadium in Kathmandu during the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) on December 10, 2019. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) condemn the police violence and urge an investigation into the attack.

Suman Chapagain receiving medical treatment Credit: Nagarik News

According to reports, sports journalist, Suman Chapagain was severely beaten by police while taking photographs of football fans clashing with police over the lack of tickets available for the final game. The incident occurred when the police conducted a baton charge to disperse the fans. Chapagain suffered injuries to his ear from the attack and was admitted at Tripureswor’s Blue Cross Hospital for treatment. Following the incident, sports journalists staged a sit-in protest on the Dasrath stadium demanding an investigation.

FNJ said: “Such incidents not only discourage journalists from their profession but raise serious questions about  the state’s responsibility to ensure safety of the journalists. We condemn such attacks and demand an immediate investigation.”

The IFJ said: “Police interference with journalists’ rights to gather information is a gross violation of press freedom. The attack indicates a culture of police insensitivity to the freedom of the press.The IFJ condemn the attack on Suman Chapagain and call for an immediate investigation to hold authorities to account."

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