Media organization concerned about Nepal's press freedom, urges the government to act
Reporters Without Borders, an international media watchdog, released a statement Wednesday calling on the Nepalese authorities to carry out thorough and rapid investigations into recent attacks by violent groups on independent media and journalists.
The statement from the Paris-based organization came after the attack on Himalmedia, the publishers of Nepali and English language periodicals like the weekly Nepali Times and monthly Wave, a magazine catered to youth.
According to the statement, around 10 masked men on motorcycles attacked the Himalmedia press group's distribution depots in the capital on Nov. 16, vandalizing equipment and torching more than 1,000 copies of the group's Nepali-language fortnightly Himal Khabarpatrika.
A story in the Nepali Times claims that Himalmedia’s staff has also been getting death threats.
The magazine's editor, Kanak Mani Dixit, told Reporters Without Borders, he regarded the incident as an "organised attempt to restrict free expression and increase fear among journalists."
In prior incidents, the chief executive officer of the group, Ashutosh Tiwari’s car was hurdled with stones in Kathmandu. The editor of the local weekly Nuwakot Jagaran was attacked after speaking on behalf of the Nepal Press Union on Nov. 17.
Earlier this month, in the city of Biratnagar in Southern Nepal, windows of the National News Agency (RSS) bureau were smashed. On Oct. 20, the offices of the Tarai Times daily newspaper in the central district of Dhanusha were also vandalized.
Reporters Without Borders has also urged the Nepali government to look for missing journalists who have disappeared over the years.
Tags: Nepal , Press Freedom , Media , Journalists
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