The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the release of two Nepali journalists, Bhaikaji Ghimire and Binod Dahal but is concerned that it comes on the same day as journalists are attacked and threatened.
At approximately 4:30pm on August 25, Bhaikaji Ghimire, managing director of Sama Dristi weekly was released after the Supreme Court ruled on August 24 that his arrest and detainment was illegal.
Ghimire was released from Nakhku Jail in Lailitpur to representatives of the National Human Rights Commission, Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), human rights activists and lawyers.
Ghimire has been tortured and held in Army custody since his illegal arrest by the army on December 1, 2003 in Chehetrapati.
Another journalist, Binod Dahal was also released on August 25 as a result of a release order by the Supreme Court.
A joint mission of twelve international agencies, including the IFJ, UN agencies, global media associations, freedom of expression advocates and media development organsations lobbied government and military officials in July to release both Ghimire and Dahal.
While the IFJ welcomes the release of the two journalists, the IFJ is still very concerned for journalists’ welfare in Nepal with news of journalists being attacked on the same day as Ghimire and Dahal’s release.
On August 25, Police in Parbat beat Lal Prasad Sharma, a journalist for Kantipur Daily while reporting on the seven party agitation program. The same police captured the camera and destroyed the film of Durga Sharma, reporter of Nepal Samacharpatra daily.
”While we welcome the release of Dahal and Ghimire, we are still deeply concerned over the daily news of arrests, beatings and torture allegations of Nepalese journalists,” said IFJ President Christopher Warren.
In response to the crisis in Nepal the IFJ and its affiliates have stepped up their protest of press freedom abuses in Nepal, declaring a Global Day of Action for Press Freedom in Nepal on August 30.
Support the day of action by signing the Nepal Crisis Signature Campaign that closes on August 31 at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/622930457 or sending a letter protest letter to King Gyanendra.
For more information on the Global Day of Action for Press Freedom in Nepal, please visit:
For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 (0) 411 757 668
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries