Growing Threats to Dailekh-based Journalists

 

Media Release: Nepal

January 25, 2013

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the National Union of Journalists-Nepal (NUJ Nepal) and the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in expressing grave concern over the growing number of threats against journalists in Dailekh, a district in the far western region of Nepal.

 

Following the arrest of ruling UCPN-Maoist party cadres in connection with the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa, party cadres have been making threats against journalists in the region.

 

UCPN-Maoist cadres publicly threatened 10 journalists of Dailekh that they would meet the same fate as Dekendra Thapa and on January 23, they vandalized the Office of the Hamro Teshro Ankha daily, published and edited by journalist Govinda KC.

 

In addition six journalists were injured during a clash between the cadres of the ruling parties and the opposition. Reportedly the situation remains tense in Dailekha, where Maoists cadres have been threatening journalists with pistols and homemade weapons. Many journalists are in hiding.

 

Journalists were also prohibited from reporting on a program presided over by the Prime Minister.

 

The IFJ said “the Recent threats on the lives of journalists is a clear violation of journalists’ rights and the freedom of expression and prevents them from fulfilling their democratic role.” The IFJ calls upon the Government of Nepal to take action against those threatening journalists and protect the rights of journalists and the public’s right to information. We urge the local Maoist leaders and the Government to respect freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

 

 

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