IFJ Dismayed as Nepal Police Arrest Journalists in Nepal 1 Protest



The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned

that police in Nepal

arrested 15 journalists participating in a peaceful rally to protest against

threats by Nepal 1 Television to enforce mass sackings at its office in Kathmandu.


According to the Federation

of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, the journalists - including FNJ

central committee member Diwakar Bagchand, FNJ Nepal 1 chapter president

Rajkumar Regmi and FNJ Bardiya branch president Shreeram Sigdel - were detained

outside the Indian Embassy at Lainchaur on August 19. They were released after

a short time.


The IFJ calls on authorities

in Nepal to ensure that Nepal 1 Television abides by its obligations under a

2007 workplace agreement to provide appointment letters to all staff, insurance

cover, holiday leave and a provident fund.


New Delhi-based Nepal 1

Television threatened mass sackings on July 14 if journalists and media workers

at its Kathmandu office continued to campaign

for implementation of the agreement. Nepal 1’s management signed the agreement

on May 7, 2007, ending a three-week strike by employees demanding implementation

of a collective agreement and improved working conditions.


According to the FNJ, the signing

of the agreement was witnessed by the Labour and Transportation Ministry’s

general secretary, Bishnu Lamsal, and the Information and Communication

Ministry’s joint-secretary, Narayan Prasad Regmi.


“The arrest of journalists

peacefully advocating for their right to decent working conditions and job

security raises serious concerns about the position of state authorities in

relation to an employer under pressure. This kind of intervention is wholly

inappropriate and an infringement of the right to freedom of association and expression,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“Journalists and staff at

Nepal 1 Television achieved a great victory in certifying their workplace

agreement in 2007. Nepal

1’s unwillingness to follow through on its commitment shows bad faith and

should not be accepted, particularly as the workers’ demands for appointment

letters, insurance cover, a provident fund, holiday leave and reimbursement

allowances are reasonable and just.”


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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