Nepal: Conviction of Uma Singh's Case an Important Step towards Ending Impunity
|Publication Date||14 June 2011|
|Cite as||Article 19, Nepal: Conviction of Uma Singh's Case an Important Step towards Ending Impunity, 14 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e38fd0c2.html [accessed 16 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Kathmandu 14.06.11: ARTICLE 19 welcomes the sentencing of Lalita Singh and Nemlal Paswan to life imprisonment for the murder of female journalist Uma Singh by the Dhanusha District Court on 11 June 2011 and urges the government of Nepal to continue stepping up its efforts to bring the perpetrators of journalist killings to justice.
"Violence against journalists and the failure to bring the perpetrators to justice has significantly undermined freedom of expression in Nepal. This recent conviction is an important step towards improving the situation, however, there remain many unresolved cases of attacks to journalists and the government must take concrete actions to investigate these crimes, bring justice to all these instances and implement effective measures to protect the safety of journalists," said Dr Agnès Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director.
In ARTICLE 19's submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council for Nepal's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which took place in January this year, it was emphasised that the lack of effective investigation and culture of impunity in Nepal had created a precedent whereby perpetrators see attacks pass without consequence.
At the UPR, impunity and the urgent need to safeguard the security of journalists was repeated raised by delegates from different countries. The Czech Republic specifically called for thorough investigation and prosecution into the 2009 case of Uma Singh. In response, the government of Nepal pledged to tackle impunity and address the human rights concerns of the delegates.
The conviction of the killers of Uma Singh followed the life imprisonment sentence for the two men responsible for the 2007 murder of journalist Birendra Shah by the Central Bara district earlier in 6 June. Whilst these are undeniably positive developments, the masterminds of Shah's killing are still at large and violence against journalists is still taking place as indicated by the violent attack on journalist Khilanath Dhakal on June 5.