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Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Nepal

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2008
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Nepal, February 2008, available at: [accessed 23 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis 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.

Attacks and threats against journalists by protesters in southern Nepal in January and early February inhibited coverage of unrest in the area. Several journalists were forced from their homes because of the harassment. The ethnic Madheshi people, who live in the southern plains, accused the media of biased coverage. The Madheshi People's Rights Forum threatened Bedraj Poudel, a correspondent for the daily Kantipur, by phone, saying the group would kill him, the paper reported. Several journalists were beaten during protests, including photojournalist Ram Sarraf in the city of Birgunj, the Federation of Nepali Journalists said.

Journalists killed in 2007 in Nepal

Birendra Shah, Nepal FM, Dristi Weekly, and Avenues TV
October 4, 2007, Bara district

Shah was kidnapped on October 4 by members of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in central Nepal's Bara district. Maoist leaders issued a statement on November 5, saying that Shah had been murdered by members of their party on the day of the kidnapping, according to Guna Raj Luitel, news editor of Kantipur Daily.

Maoist leaders sought to distance themselves from the slaying, which they called an anarchic act by a district committee member, Lal Bahadur Chaudhary, and two associates.

Shah, local correspondent for Nepal FM, Dristi Weekly, and Avenues TV, had been critical of local Maoists in his reports.

His body was recovered by police in a forested area 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Kathmandu on November 8, according to The Associated Press. A funeral held the next day attracted more than 3,000 mourners. Some of the crowd attempted to set fire to the house of one of the accused killers, the Voice of America reported.

Journalists killed in 2007 in Nepal (motive unconfirmed)

Shankar Panthi, Naya Satta
September 15, 2007, Sunwal

Panthi, a correspondent for the pro-Maoist newspaper Naya Satta, was found fatally injured at around 1:30 a.m. alongside the Mahendra Highway in Sunwal village, in the southern district of Nawalparasi, according to local news reports.

Local residents said his bruised body was found in front of a petrol pump and that he appeared to have suffered head injuries, according to the Kantipur Online news site. Police said that Panthi's bicycle was hit by another vehicle in a road accident and that the journalist died while being taken to the hospital, according to reports.

Local residents staged demonstrations blocking a stretch of the busy highway for two days, demanding action against those responsible for Panthi's death and compensation for his family members.

Panthi was reporting on the destruction of a Young Communist League office on the night he was killed, according to Keshav Parajuli, president of the Nawalparasi chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists. Panthi was also an "active Maoist cadre," according to Kantipur Online.

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