The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands an immediate investigation into the murder of a young journalist in her home in Janakpur, in the Dhanusha district of Nepal’s central region, on January 11.
According to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, Uma Singh was attacked repeatedly with a sharp weapon by a group of 15 to 16 people who entered her house in Janakpur in the early evening.
Singh, aged in her mid-20s and a correspondent for the daily Janakapur Today and Radio Today FM, died on the way to hospital, FNJ President Dharmendra Jha said in a statement.
On the same evening, Kantipur Daily correspondent Manika Jha received death threats when a group of unknown people broke the windows of her home in the same suburb of Janakpur.
The group reportedly marked her door with a cross and threatened her, saying “now it is your turn”.
Jha is currently leading an FNJ delegation to Dhanusha to establish the facts of Singh’s murder. Some local media have reported her death may be linked to her reporting on the dowry system.
The FNJ has organised an emergency protest march from Ratnapark to Virkutimandap today. A nationwide protest program is planned for all district FNJ chapters.
“The brutal murder of Uma Singh and the attack against Manika Jha are chilling reminders of the extreme dangers and difficulties confronting a free and open media in Nepal,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“Local authorities in Janakpur and the Government must launch an immediate and full investigation into Singh’s murder and the threats against Jha, and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
The IFJ extends its sincere sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of Singh.
Aside from an immediate investigation into Singh’s murder, the IFJ and the FNJ call on Nepal’s Government to ensure the safety of Jha and her family.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide