17 April 2008
Dhanusha , Nepal
Journalist threatened to be killed
Karna, news coordinator of Janaki FM, broadcasting from Janakpur was
threatened to be killed by the nephew of Bimalendra Nidhi, a Nepali
Congress Candidate for Constituent Assembly (CA) election on 17 April
at Janakpur a district headquarter of Dhanusha, a central region of Nepal.
nephew threatens him for the news disseminated in Janaki FM on 11
April, informed Ashok Rauniyar president Federation of Nepali
Journalists (FNJ), Dhanusa chapter. Rauniyar said that Karna had
disseminated news with voices of the major political parties' candidate
like CPN-UML, Madeshi People Right Forum, Terai Madesh Loktantric
Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and other independent candidates
denying the vote counting at Dhanusa -3. Nidhi's nephew threaten him
saying that why he disseminated news against Nidhi.
Later, vote counting was resumed and Nidhi is now elected from that constituency.
the incident FNJ said that it is direct attack on press freedom and
people's right to information. Federation strongly urged for the
serious and responsible behavior from all political parties for the
safety of journalists and to safeguard the role of media.
Media Mission-Nepal Election Monitoring Mission
International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission to Nepal
congratulates Nepali journalists for their coverage of the campaign and the
historic election held on April 10. Their scrutiny of the process and coverage
was one critical factor contributing to a mostly peaceful election day. The Mission also
congratulates its partner, the Federation of Nepali Journalists, for providing
the leadership in creating a climate conducive for media work throughout the
The following is
the joint statement of the FNJ and the International Media Mission to Nepal:
congratulating the role of Nepali journalists for their coverage of the
electoral process, we are deeply concerned about the frequent violations of
media freedom and freedom of expression that occurred in the run-up and during
the process, particularly in the campaign period.
We emphasize the
need for continued vigilance on issues of media freedom in the ongoing vote count,
the formation of the new government and during the constitution-writing process
in the newly-elected Constituent Assembly. The FNJ and IMM recommend that these
issues be recognised by all stakeholders and observers committed to
facilitating a successful democratic transition in Nepal.
From January 01
2008, the FNJ monitored media safety violations and attempts to restrict the
free flow of information through its local chapters in 70 of 75 districts.
Starting April 8th, three joint FNJ-IMM teams were in the field for
monitoring, to provide assistance and for rapid response in three of Nepal’s five
development regions. On election day, the FNJ
deployed four regional monitoring teams and had a rapid reaction team on
standby in Kathmandu for dealing with serious
period was marked by 61 instances of violations of media rights, including
access to information and attacks on journalists.. The FNJ identified
20 cases of physical attacks
12 cases of threats and intimidation
21 cases of violations of freedom of
8 cases of attacks on media houses or media vehicles
Particular incidents that restricted the free flow of
information in the campaign and election period, highlighted by the FNJ and
IMM-N, include the following:
Bandhs or localised general strikes particularly in
the southern Madhesh areas which limited
physical movement, and threatened journalists and citizen safety;
difficulties in obtaining press and vehicle passes restricted access for
several journalists, limiting their capacity to report;
localised incident involving seizure of journalist documentation; and,
localised incident in which security and administration officials refused to
divulge crucial information on the killings that took place in Dang on April
09, when that information was urgently required in the public interest
regrettable that some political parties and their supporters tried to restrict
the flow of information and threatened the well-being of journalists during the
campaign. Such behaviour could threaten Nepal’s transition to democracy and
peace in the post-election period. However, we commend the political parties
for their moderation on election day.
Although Nepal’s media has made a strong
positive contribution to the election process, we also emphasise the fact that
many long-term structural issues continue to limit the potential of the media’s
role. These include a lack of broad-based skills development in many areas;
intimidation and threats creating insecure environments and encouraging
self-censorship in some locations; and a lack of regulatory reform guaranteeing
freedom of expression and public service media, including the reform of the
state media. The FNJ and the IMM-N urge all national and international civil
society and government stakeholders to pay close attention to these
requirements. This includes the urgent need for the upcoming new government and
the Constituent Assembly to prioritise freedom and freedom of expression issues
in their respective deliberations.
The FNJ and
IMM-N mandate focuses on media freedom and media safety issues during the
election process. However it is self-evident that the quality of media election
coverage during this process also requires detailed informed debate and review.
We call on the Election Commission and the Press Council to release the results
of their comprehensive election media monitoring project because of both
overwhelming public interest and to inform media development initiatives in
The FNJ and IMM
congratulate the people of Nepal
on their successful and courageous participation in the April 10th
vote. We also call on all political parties to ensure that the next steps in
the political process are open, democratic and transparent.
The FNJ and IMM
will issue a full report on the media monitoring project after the election process comes to an end.
of Nepalese Journalists is an association of some eight thousand journalists in
The International Media Freedom Monitoring Mission is a collaboration of
international media advocacy and media development organisations, and is
coordinated and facilitated by International Media Support.
organizations are members of the ‘International Media Mission -Nepal’ for the
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
International Media Support (IMS)
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
International Press Institute (IPI)
Reporters sans Frontières
International Media Support
Nørregade 20, 2nd Fl.
Dk -1135 Copenhagen
+45 8832 7010
Mobile: +45 2645 6563
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