IFJ Voices Concern about Wave of Media Attacks in Nepal



The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) holds concerns for the

status of press freedom of Nepal

as the escalating trend of attacks and threats against journalists enters its

second month with five separate anti-media incidents reported overnight.


According to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ

affiliate, Sushil Dhunganga, news correspondent for Samachar Saransha received death threats over the telephone for an

article “Increasing smuggling at Vajani Border, Concerned Authority Silent”

published in the daily on August 1.


Dhunganga is based in Dhangadi, Kalilai, in Nepal’s far-west.


Samjhana Paudel, news correspondent from Nepal FM was harassed and

arrested by police while reporting on a protest program organized by womens’

rights activists on August 3 at Maitighar Mandala, Kathmandu.


The police reportedly asked her upon her arrest, “You are the one that

writes about women?”, the FNJ reports.


She was released at 10pm that evening.


Two members of the FNJ Dhanusha chapter in the central region, Ajyay Sah

and Ganesh Kharel reported threats of by a commander of the Terai Rastriya

Mukti Sena (TRMS) in Janakpur on August 5.


The commander threatened violence against the journalists when they

refused to obey a TRMS press release calling for the closure of all FM radio

and newpapers using Nepali language in the troubled Terai region.


In Sunsari, also in Nepal’s

eastern region, members of the Madheshi Students’ Front set alight copies of

the newspapers Kantipur, Samacharpatra, and Blast Times, apparently blaming journalists for not covering their

conflict with students from the Dharan

Engineering College.


“The role of the media in any democracy is to report accurately and fairly

on all issues and events in the public interest including all aspects of

political conflict, particularly in Nepal’s current period of fragile

transition,” said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.


“It is alarming to see individuals including representatives of political

parties and local authorities interrogating and attacking journalists for fulfilling

their responsibilities to the Nepal



The IFJ joins the FNJ in expressing disappointment and concern at the Nepal

government’s continued neglect for adequate safety and protection for journalists

despite its April election promises.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide