Press Statement

Journalists and staff attacked in eastern Nepal

21 Oct, 2014

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and the Nepal Press Union (NPU) in expressing concern over an attack on journalist and FNJ office staff on October 19, 2014 in Jhapa, eastern Nepal.

About dozen people attacked journalist Rejina Gautam Rodan, a correspondent of local Arjundhara daily and executive editor of Jana Andolan weekly along with Khemraj Gautam, office staff of FNJ’s local chapter. They were returning home from office at round 9pm when the attackers intercepted them at Sanishchare Road in Birtamod and attacked them with sharp weapons.

They have sustained serious injuries to the head and are undergoing treatment at Manmohan Memorial Hospital in Jhapa. The motive behind the attack is not yet clear.

Police have arrested three people, while others are absconding.

Ujir Magar, the general secretary of FNJ, said in a statement: “The FNJ believes that such an incident indicates the unsafe media environment. We demand the government to immediately arrest those involved in the attack and punish them under the legal procedure.”

The FNJ added: “We also urge the state to be serious over the journalist’s security and make a free and fearless working atmosphere.” The FNJ has also demanded for arrangement to be made for the treatment of injured journalist and office staff.”

Ajaybabu Siwakhoti, the NPU general secretary, said: “The NPU demands fair investigation to ensure justice to the injured journalists.”

IFJ acting director, Jane Worthington, said: “This is a despicable and shameful attack of two journalists in Nepal who were clearly outnumbered by a mob. Attacks like this cannot go unpunished lest a climate of impunity will only ensue. We urge the Nepal government to immediately arrest and prosecute the remaining attackers in this brutal incident.”