IFJ Outraged at Death of Birendra Shah

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged and saddened by news that journalist Birendra Shah, who was abducted on October 5, was confirmed dead by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-Maoist) at a press conference on Monday in <st1:place w:st="on">Kathmandu</st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>

The CPN-Maoist informed the media that Shah was killed on the same day that he was abducted. CPN-Maoist members reportedly told the Party they were responsible for Shah’s murder.<o:p></o:p>

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Birendra Shah,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park. “It is shocking that the public was kept in the dark about Shah’s condition for one month. The perpetrators must be brought to justice immediately.”<o:p></o:p>

Shah, a Bara-based journalist affiliated with Nepal FM, Dristri Weekly and Avenues TV, had written about the former rebels’ alleged profiteering from timber smuggling and also their alleged assault and abuse of opponents. He was last seen one month ago while reporting in Pipara Bazaar, Unjanpipariya village, about 160 kilometres south of <st1:place w:st="on">Kathmandu</st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>

Shah’s fate was made public as peaceful protests organised by IFJ affiliate the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) were taking place across the country against the government’s failure to reveal Shah’s condition or whereabouts. Police used violence against the crowd and arrested 14 protesters. Those detained, including members of the FNJ executive, were later released.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>The FNJ plans to lead further protests over Shah’s murder.<o:p></o:p>

The IFJ is angered by these recent events and calls upon the Nepalese government to take immediate action to ensure a thorough investigation into Shah’s abduction so the offenders are brought to justice.<o:p></o:p>