The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Unified CPN Maoists and all political groups in Nepal
to end attacks on media personnel reporting on street protests.
The Federation of Nepali
Journalists (FNJ), an IFJ affiliate, reported repeated incidents of violence
against journalists across Nepal
instigated by activist groups affiliated to the Unified CPN Maoists during
street protests in the past week.
Students affiliated with the All
Nepal National Free Students’ Union (Revolutionary), a student wing of the Unified
CPN Maoists, reportedly attacked a vehicle carrying FNJ secretary Ram Dahal, Himal Khabarpatrika editor Kiran Nepal, Himal
Khabarpatrika managing editor Indra Shrestha and journalist Rameshowor
Bohara as it left Kathmandu on June 16.
The student activists reportedly
threw stones at the vehicle, damaging its headlights, despite the passengers
producing their media identification cards.
On June 15, protesters at several strikes
organised in and around Kathmandu by the Young
Communist League (YCL), a sister organisation of the Unified CPN Maoists,
physically and verbally abused a number of media personnel and vehicles that
were clearly marked “media”.
The FNJ reported the following
In the Chahabil area of Kathmandu, a Kantipur Publications media van was vandalised.
In Gairegaun in Makwanpur district
near Kathmandu, Kantipur TV host Basudev
Krishna was verbally abused.
In the Sinamangal area of Kathmandu, a vehicle transporting Nepal Samacharpatra editor Badri Tiwri was forced to turn back
after activists blocked its path.
In Sitapaila village in the
Bagmati zone of central Nepal,
Avenews TV correspondent Krishna Neupane was harassed by protesters who damaged
In the Dhumbarahai area of Kathmandu, FNJ staff member Bhojraj Ghimire was verbally
abused. Protesters also reportedly attempted to set fire to his motorcycle.
“All political groups regardless
of their mandate should understand and respect the importance of a functioning
media for any type of democratic governance,” IFJ
Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “While the IFJ
encourages freedom of expression and plurality of political views, any act of
violence against media personnel is not only an abuse of their individual human
rights but also an attack on press freedom.”
The IFJ joins the FNJ in calling
on all political groups in Nepal
to give assurances publicly that they are committed to press freedom and to take
responsibility for the actions of all members of their networks.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide