Nepal Monitor: The National Online Journal: <br /> Print This
Nepal Monitor: The National Online Journal

More Violence & Threats Against Journalists

Media rights groups concerned with growing threats against journalists in Nepal.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in condemning separate threats made against journalists in Nepal by the staff of a politician and a senior public servant on March 10.

Kantipur Daily correspondent Pawan Yadav, from Bara district in the country's south, was allegedly threatened by close aides of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) MP Shiva Chandra Kushwaha over articles he had written, the FNJ alerted on March 11.

According to FNJ, Nepal Samacharpatra journalist Deepak Gautam has been allegedly threatened by Nagendra Jha, Chief District Officer of Parsa District, also in the country's south. Jha allegedly threatened to lay false charges of drug dealing or arms smuggling against Gautam after the journalist reported that Jha was allegedly accepting bribes to settle cases registered in the Parsa District Administration Office.

"The use of threats as an attempt to intimidate journalists directly compromises freedom of the media," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"Anyone who is unsatisfied with reports in the press has the right to raise concerns with Press Council Nepal rather than make unwarranted threats."

The FNJ has also raised concerns about the shooting attack on Chairman of National Television Nepal Yunus Ansari on March 10.

Ansari was shot in the Central Jail in Sundhara in central Nepal, where he is currently imprisoned on charges of possession of counterfeit Indian currency and illegal drugs, sustaining a bullet injury to his shoulder but surviving the attack, an FNJ report said.

The gunman, Jasjeet Singh of Uttar Pradesh, India has admitted he was paid INR 1.5 million (USD 32,500) to kill Ansari. Police are yet to determine the motive for the attack, but believe it relates to Ansari's role in a transnational currency racket, the report said.

It is not yet clear if the attack relates to his duties with National Television, but local media reports said the attack bears a resemblance to the murder of Channel Nepal Chairman Jamim Shah, who was shot dead on February 7, 2010.

"Yet again we see criminal gangs, elected officials and public office holders taking the law into their own hands in Nepal," Park said.

"The IFJ joins with the FNJ in calling for investigations into the shooting of Yunus Ansari and the threats made against Pawan Yadav and Deepak Gautam."

This story courtesy of IFJ Asia Pacific.

Posted by Editor on March 14, 2011 6:14 PM