Nepal journalists attacked for critical reporting

May. 10, 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is disturbed by news that attacks on journalists in Nepal continue unabated.

The nation of Nepal as a whole is working hard to try to ensure basic democratic freedoms and these attacks are slowing that process considerably, IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

Journalist beaten in response to articles

In a recent incident reported by an IFJ affiliate, the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Lokshari Kuwar, the editor/publisher of Morning Bell Daily, was attacked by three men in Dhangadi of Kailali, a far western district of Nepal, and is now being treated in Seti Regional Hospital.

According to Birendra Rawal, the president of Press Chautrai Nepal, one of the men has been apprehended.

Rawal reportedly told the FNJ he believed the attack occurred as retribution for articles Kuwar had written about timber smuggling, prostitution and illegal exporting and importing of goods across the Indian border.

Journalist attacked while reporting

The FNJ also reports that Yuvraj Adhikary, a local correspondent of Radio Nepal, was attacked by members of the Maoist-aligned Young Communist League (YCL) on May 2 when he tried to report on a clash at Kusumba market of Bardiya, mid-western district of Nepal.

The fight was reportedly between security forces at the market and refugees and freed bonded laborers led by the YCL.

When Adhikary tried to report on the scene, members of the YCL started to throw rocks and sticks at him and chased him down the street until he was able to hide in a nearby house, according to the FNJ.

The YCL members reportedly continued to his house, near the market, and broke all of his windows.

According to Yuvraj Shrestha, president of the Bardiya branch of the FNJ, Adhikary has received threats from the YCL before in the form of phone calls saying he could be abducted or killed at any time.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries

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