The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) notes that the wife of
journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa has identified a body exhumed in the town of
Dailekh, in Nepal’s far western region, as that of her husband.
Thapa, a reporter for Radio Nepal based in the town, disappeared
while on assignment in June 2004.
The exhumation on June 25 took place on the basis of information received
by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate. Officials of
the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal were at the site for the
The IFJ urges the police and all other relevant authorities in Nepal to launch
appropriate forensic tests to satisfy all legal requirements regarding the
identity of the body.
The FNJ has established through its own investigations that Thapa may
have died under torture on August 10, 2004. Bam Bahadur Khadkha, a militia commander of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), then an
underground insurgent movement but now the largest party in the Nepalese
Constituent Assembly, is alleged to have primary responsibility for Thapa’s
torture and killing.
Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the then spokesman for the Maoist insurgency, had
publicly expressed remorse over Thapa’s killing and called it contrary to his
party’s central policy directives.
Maoist representatives have repeatedly asserted that Thapa
died of natural causes. However, they have failed to provide any further
“The IFJ urges the police and all relevant authorities in Nepal
to undertake the necessary investigations to establish responsibility for
Thapa’s murder,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“The killing of Thapa and almost three years of not knowing the exact
circumstances of his disappearance have caused great privation for his family.
It is time for justice.”
The IFJ appreciates the fact that the FNJ has, within its limited
resources, sought to provide for Thapa’s family as best it can.
“But this support does not eliminate the need for a full process of
accountability,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents
over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries