Death Threat Made Against Journalist In The Terai, Nepal

The International Federation of Journalists is deeply

disturbed by the reported death threats received by Damodar Bhandari, a

correspondent for a leading English language newspaper, Annapurna Post,

in the town of Nepalganj in the southern plains

(the Terai) of Nepal.

 

The threat

was reportedly delivered by e-mail on August 21 from the address of a person

purporting to be acting on behalf of an underground political group: the Terai

Janatantrik Party (Madesh).

 

Inquiries

made with this person by the Federation of Nepali Journalists, an IFJ

affiliate, elicited a denial and an assurance that he would ascertain the facts

behind the incident. Such clarification is yet to be received. Damodar Bhandari

has been in a state of shock since receiving the threat.

 

“We have

been increasingly worried about the deteriorating security environment for

journalists in Nepal

despite all the hopes raised by the historic elections of 2008,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“Particularly

worrying are events in the Terai region, where powerful forces of regional

autonomy have contributed to heightened tensions between ethnic groups.”

 

The IFJ

calls upon the authorities in Nepalganj to take this matter with appropriate

seriousness and ensure that Bhandari receives all necessary protection while

investigations are underway.

 

“We

commend the FNJ’s consistent stand in favour of free and ethical journalism and

call upon the Nepali government and the divisional and district authorities in

the Terai region to protect the right to freedom of expression.”

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific