Political Groups Must End Attacks on Journalists in Nepal

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

his motorcycle


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.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide