Archive ref no: NCA-18763
Status of Press Freedom and
Freedom of Expression
NEPAL REPORT 2003
This report covers the period of Nepalese calendar 2059 B. S. (Mid April 2002 – mid April 2003)
Nepal is at the crossroads. There are a number of stumbling blocks towards restoration of peace and stability in the country. As in any other conflict, civilians and human rights defenders have been at the receiving end of rights abuses and violations in the eight-year-old Maoist insurgency in Nepal. We, have been trying our utmost to highlight the situation of press freedom and freedom of expression in Nepal and have been lobbying locally as well as internationally to create a better working environment for media personnel and rights activists.
We are sorry to note here that the year 2002 remained volatile from the point of media freedom. The nationwide "state of emergency" launched by the government in November 2001 to fight with the insurgents resulted into widespread rights violations. Journalists were threatened, misbehaved, arrested, tortured and even killed while in detention. Both the security forces and Maoist rebels saw journalists as barriers in their heavy-handed activities. Reporting freely and fairly and informing the public at large about such atrocities was the main aim of the media. And, Nepalese press continued to fight for its right as well as for the rights of the people throughout this period.
The cease-fire declared by the government and Maoist rebels in January this year has helped significantly to ease the situation. But we haven’t seen any credible signs of moving towards durable peace. Reports say both the government and the rebels are utilizing this period to build up their strength and prepare for fresh round of conflict.
While urging both the parties in conflict not to renew their hostilities and find a negotiated settlement to the insurgency, we call upon both the sides to honor the rights of press and free expression activists to express their views in a free and fair manner. An objective and fearless press would bedoing a great service to the nation and people by reporting accurately. It is only those who can’t withstand public scrutiny see and treat the media as their enemy.
The Annual Report on Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression is part of our on-going effort to highlight the situation of media and free express in the kingdom in a scientific and reliable way. We have done our best to present the incidences without bias and in right perspective. We have tried to verify these incidences from different sources and present them in a neutral way. Despite such efforts, if there are any errors, we will be happy to correct them in our forthcoming publications.
The publication of this report would not have been possible without the strong support and encouragement of our colleagues, media and human rights organizations, national and international press freedom watchdogs and our well-wishers. We would like to thank them all on this occasion. We have received a number of inputs during a number of workshops/seminars organized by NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT in different parts of the country even during the state of emergency.
As in the past, we look forward to your invaluable suggestions and comments regarding this Report. We can march forward in this mission of protecting and promoting press freedom and freedom of expression in Nepal only with your support and cooperation. We hope that the broader human rights community and media professionals would continue to give due importance to press freedom issues in the days ahead and will freely make use of this report while preparing their articles/opinion pieces etc. We also hope that researchers and academics from within the country and abroad will also find it as a useful reference point on the issue in Nepal.
Chapter 1 7-11
Executive Summary 7
Chapter 2 13-28
Highlights of the Year 14
Re-imposition of the "State of Emergency" 14
Victim Journalists and Rights Activists at the Court 18
Nine Journalists Killed 22
FNJ Struggle 23
Royal Move of 4th October 24
Declaration of the Cease-fire 26
Chapter 3 29-68
Violation of Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression 30
Datasheet of Victim Journalists 57
BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT
Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies (NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT) is non-profit, non-political and non-partisan,
non-governmental organization working for the protection and promotion human rights, enhancement of press freedom and freedom of expression and strengthening democratic process under the universal principles of international human rights. NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT has been registered at the District Administration Office, Kathmandu, and also affiliated with the Social Welfare Council, Nepal. NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT is a member of International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX), the global network of the rganizations working for the freedom of expression and press freedom and also a member of Asia Pacific Human Rights Network (APHRN).
FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF CONCERN:
• Protection and promotion of human rights
• Support institutionalization of democratic exercise
• Enhance Press Freedom and Freedomof Expression
• Nepal Report (Annual)
• Free Expression (Quarterly)
• Swatantra Abhibyakty (Quarterly)
• Periodic Reports
NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT Secretariat
• Press Freedom Monitoring Desk
• Nepal Report Desk
• Legal Support Desk
• Human Rights Promotion Desk
Press Freedom Grand Jury, Nepal Secretariat
The situation of press freedom and freedom of expression in Nepal remained volatile and critical during the year 2002 as a result of the proclamation of the "State of Emergency" and counter-insurgency operation launched by the security forces against the rebels. Both the security forces and Maoists were involved in violation of minimum standards of the human rights of the people and encroaching upon freedom of the journalists and free expression activists through activities like killing, arrest, disappearances, misbehaviour and harassment.
The "state of emergency" was lifted on 29 August 2002. The Nepalese government had declared the nationwide "state of emergency" on 26 November 2001 after the deadly Maoists attacks over military barracks in western Nepal walking off the "peace dialogue" unilaterally. As a result, citizens were deprived of enjoying the fundamental human rights since the government suspended several articles related to fundamental human rights conferred by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990.
Journalists and free expression activities were denied to undertake impartial news reporting from the insurgency affected areas and had to face obstacles to move freely in those regions. The government declared the rebels as ‘terrorists’ and started broadcasting provocative and one-sided news reports against the rebels through state owned media including Radio Nepal and Nepal Television. The government also directed private-sector media not to publish any news items related to security operations without the permission of the Royal Nepalese Army or the Ministry of Defense or Home Affairs.
After the dissolution of the parliament in June 2002, the situation turned more critical while the security forces were indirectly controlling the overall state power. During that period, the security forces undertook several atrocities during their operation and arrested dozens of journalists. Nepalese Supreme Court rejected petitions seeking to reinstate the parliament and approved the dissolution of the parliament thereby opening the door for fresh elections on 13 November 2002. On 4 October 2002, King Gyanendra assumed all executive powers by sacking caretaker Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba for failing to hold elections as per schedule on 13 November citing growing Maoist violence. On 11 October 2002, King appointed a government under monarchist Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand, granting him limited powers.
On 29 January 2003, the government and Maoist rebels declared a ceasefire for the second time. The first cease-fire had broken down in November 2001 after three rounds of peace talks. The situation has changed after the declaration of the cease-fire. Many journalists were released as part of the peace process.
Following the imposition of the "state of emergency" on 26 November 2001, more than 180 journalists were arrested in different parts of the country. Most of them were arrested under the recently introduced Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act, 2002. The law was introduced to control rebels declaring their activities as terrorist. The law, however, was misused rampantly against the civilians and media personnel. Dozens of people were physically tortured. And several detainees' whereabouts remain unknown. There have been no reports of official charges filed against any of the detained journalists.
During this period, the hands of the security forces killed at least nine journalists and Maoist rebels. The security forces allegedly killed Mr. Krishna Sen, editor of pro-Maoist Janadisha daily in early June 2002 torturing him while in the custody. He was arrested on 20 May 2002 from Kathmandu and was taken towards an undisclosed location. Media reports claimed that Mr. Sen was reportedly killed after being tortured by security forces in order to exact information related to underground Maoist network and its leadership. It was learnt that he was in a good health prior to his arrest. He was detained for about a month in an unknown detention center. Amid continuous pressure from national and international press freedom groups regarding alleged death of Mr. Sen in the custody, the government formed an investigation committee under a senior officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The committee said it did not find enough evidence to establish that Sen was killed in the custody. But it gave a number of hints indicating that the person whose last rites were conducted without the knowledge of his family members by the bank of a Kathmandu river could be Mr. Sen. Earlier, Sen had spent 22 months in prison for publishing an interview with the Maoist leader, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, and was released on 15 March 2001 as per a court order.
Journalists Kanchan Priyadarshi (Ishwor Budhathoki) of Sindhupalchowk, Yam B.K. "Patel" of Myagdi, D. Kaudinya (Dev Kumar Acharya) of Jhapa, Kamal A.C. of Kathmandu, Kumar Ghimire of Sindhuli and Raj Kumar K.C. of Ramechhap have also been allegedly killed by security forces. There was a separate report of killing of Chakra Bahdur Budha (B.C.) in Surkhet by security force.
In the seven-years of the conflict, CPN (Maoists) were also involved in the killings of journalists alleging them of writing/reporting against their activities. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) rebels murdered editor of "Kadam" and former editor of "Karnali Sandesh," Nawaraj Sharma, in Kalikot district (western Nepal). His badly mutilated body was found on 13 August 2002. He was abducted from his house nearly two months back (on June 1st).
In a separate incident, journalist Ambika Timsina affiliated to the Pro-Maoist Janadesh and Mahima weeklies was found dead near the village of Pathari in Morang district (eastern Nepal) on 12 December 2002, a day after his abduction by suspected Maoist rebels. He had surrendered before the local authorities after the proclamation of the state of emergency in November 2001. It was learnt that he might have been killed by the Maoists alleging him of working as a spy against them.
Security forces have reportedly abducted journalist Arjun Thapaliya, Minu Budhathoki and Prem Sagar and their whereabouts are still unknown. Mumaram Khanal remained in jail along with other senior Maoist leaders till the writing of this report.
The CPN (Maoist) rebels abducted two journalists, Demling Lama and Dhan Bahadur Rokka, who were working for the state owned Radio Nepal. Lama was abducted in Sindhupalchok district in April 2002 but managed to escape from the rebel’s control. Another journalist, Dhan Bahadur Rokka Magar, was abducted from Pyuthan district (western Nepal) on 1 August 2002. His whereabouts remain unknown. Similarly, Nepal Samacharpatra daily reported that a local CPN (Maoist) commander had banned its reporter, Dipak Bahadur Thapa, from leaving his village since mid-November 2002 on charges of reporting against the Maoists "people’ war." Thapa was also threatened of his life, if he did not obey the rebels.
In the year 2002, press freedom was all the time under threat from different sections of the society. Most of the journalists were released as per the Supreme Court order in response to habeas corpus petitions. But the security forces again detained some of them just outside the court premises. Altogether eighty-three cases of Detention/Imprisonment were recorded during this period. Seven cases of Seizure/Censor/Ban, eighteen cases of attack/Misbehaviour/ Manhandling, ten cases of Threat and nineteen cases of Legal actions were also recorded.
To protest against the arbitrary detention, more than 20 journalists and rights activists filed separate cases against the government at the district courts of Kathmandu, Morang and Sunsari with legal support from the Legal Desk of NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT in coordination with the Press Freedom Grand Jury, an alliance of nearly one dozen rights organizations, seeking maximum compensation and asking action against the perpetrators (police and army). The hearings are continuing.
In the time being, the attitude of authorities, security forces and CPN (Maoist) rebels including the civilians have not changed. Journalists and free expression activists continue to face harassment, threat and mistreatment from different sections of the society. The authorities and security forces still try to restrict information to media people. The rebels also control free access to media personnel in their strongholds.
To sum up, the situation of press freedom is far from satisfactory in Nepal. However, journalists and free expression activists have felt little bit relaxed after the declaration of the cease-fire. Many journalists have been released and have started publishing newspapers including Janadesh, which had stopped its publication following the arrest of its entire staff. They also feel comparatively less intimidation from the authorities and security forces. In the mean time, the rebels have also said that they will not create any obstacles for the journalists to carry out impartial news reporting in their strongholds. Such assurances are yet to be tested.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR
"State of Emergency" re-imposed
As per the recommendation of premier Sher Bahadur Deuba, King Gyanendra again imposed the "state of emergency" for another three months period/three days after it came to an end # under Article 115 (1) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal. Mr. Deuba had made the recommendations though he had failed to convince his own party and other parliamentary parties regarding its need and subsequently recommended dissolution of parliament after few days. In essence, it was the continuity of the "state of emergency" that was declared on 26 November 2002.
In accordance with the Constitution, King Gyanendra again suspended the fundamental human rights of the citizens that denies basic freedom to the people and restricts freedom of movement of the citizenry. However, the provision of habeas corpus remained in place.
Suspended Fundamental Rights
Article 12. Right to Freedom
Article 12.2 (a) - freedom of opinion and expression;
Article 12.2 (b) - freedom to assemble peaceably and without arms;
Article 12.2 (d) - freedom to move throughout the Kingdom and reside in any part thereof;
Article 13. Press and Publication Right
Article 13 .1 - No news item, article or any other reading material shall be censored.
Provided that nothing shall prevent the making of laws to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the sovereignty and integrity of the Kingdom of Nepal, or which may jeopardize the harmonious relations subsisting among the peoples of various castes, tribes or communities; or on any act of sedition, defamation, contempt of court or incitement to an offence; or on any act against which may be contrary to decent public behaviour or morality.
Article 15. Right against Preventive Detention
Article 15.1 - No person shall be held under preventive detention unless there is a sufficient ground of existence of an immediate threat to the sovereignty, integrity or law and order situation of the Kingdom of Nepal.
Article 15.2 - Any person held under preventive detention shall, if his detention was contrary to law or in bad faith, have the right to be compensated in a manner as prescribed by law.
Article 16. Right to Information
Every citizen shall have the right to demand and receive information on any matter of public importance;
Article 17. Right to Property
Article 17.1 - All citizens shall, subject to the existing laws, have the right to acquire, own, sell and otherwise dispose of, property.
Article 17.2 - The State shall not, except in the public interest, requisition, acquire or create any encumbrance on, the property of any person.
Article 17.3 - The basis of compensation and procedure for giving compensation for any property requisitioned, acquired or encumbered by the State for in the public interest, shall be as prescribed by law.
Article 22. Right to Privacy
Except as provided by law, the privacy of the person, house, property, document, correspondence or information of anyone is inviolable.
Article 23. Right to Constitutional Remedy
The right to proceed in the manner set forth in Article 88 for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.
However, the right to habeas corpus remains active during the emergency.
(Article 88 deals with protection of fundamental rights to be safeguarded by the Supreme Court)
Non-Suspended Fundamental Rights
Article 11. Right to Equality
This article guarantees the right of equality before the law and equal protection of the laws to all citizens.
Article 12. Right to Freedom
Article 12.1 – No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save in accordance with law, and no law shall be made which provides for capital punishment.
Article 12.2.c – All citizens shall have the freedom to form unions and associations.
Provided that nothing in sub-clause © shall be deemed to prevent the making of laws to impose reasonable restrictions on any act which may undermine the sovereignty and integrity of the Kingdom of Nepal, which may jeopardize the harmonious relations subsisting among the people of various castes, tribes or communities, which may instigate violence, or which may be contrary to public morality.
Article 12.2.e – All citizens shall have the freedom to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, industry or trade.
Provided that nothing in sub-clause (e) shall be deemed to prevent the making of laws to impose restrictions on any act which may be contrary to public health or morality, to confer on the state the exclusive right to undertake specified industries, business or services, or to impose any condition or qualification for carrying on any industry, trade, profession or occupation.(though this freedom, pursuant to Article 115(8) of constitution was suspendable fundamental right, it was not suspended even during the two phases of emergency declaration)
Article 13. Press and Publication Right
Article 13.2 - No press shall be closed or seized for printing any news item, article or other reading material.
Article 13.3 – The registration of a newspaper or periodical shall not be cancelled merely for publishing any news item, article or other reading material.
Article 14. Right Regarding Criminal Justice
Article 14.1 - No person shall be punished for an act which was not punishable by law when the act was committed, nor shall any person be subjected to a punishment greater than that prescribed by the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.
Article 14.2 –No person shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence in a court of law more than once.
Article 14.3 –No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Article 14.4 –No person who is detained during investigation or for trial or for any other reason shall be subjected to physical or mental torture, nor shall be given any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Any person so treated shall be compensated in a manner as determined by law.
Article 14.5 –No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.
Article 14.6 –Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a judicial authority within a period of twenty four hours after such arrest, excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to such authority, and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period except on the order of such authority.
Article 14.7 –Nothing in clauses (5) and (6) shall apply to a citizen of an enemy state, and nothing in clause (6) shall apply to any person who is arrested or detained under any law providing for preventive detention.
Article 18. Cultural and Educational Right
Article 18.1. – Each community residing within the Kingdom of Nepal shall have the right to preserve and promote its language, script and culture.
Article 18.2. – Each community shall have the right to operate schools up to the primary level in its own mother tongue for imparting education to its children.
Article 19. Right to Religion
Article 19.1. – Every person shall have the freedom to profess and practice his own religion as handed down to him from ancient ties having due regard to traditional practices:
Provided that no person shall be entitled to convert another person from one religion to another.
Article 19.2. – Every religious denomination shall have the right o maintain its independent existence and for this purpose to manage and protect its religious places and trusts.
Article 20. Right against Exploitation
Article 20.1. – Traffic in human beings, slavery, serfdom or forced labour in any form is prohibited. Any contravention of this provision shall be punishable by law:
Provided that nothing herein shall be a bar to providing by law for compulsory service for public purposes.
Article 20.2. – No minor shall be employed to work in any factory or mine, or be engaged in any other hazardous work.
Article 21. Right against Exile
No citizen shall be exiled.
Victim Journalists and Rights Activists Filed Compensation Cases
A total of 19 journalists and two human rights activists have filed separate cases against the government at the District Court of Kathmandu on 28 November 2002 seeking compensation for "illegally" detaining them during the nine-month-long "state of emergency" that came to an end on August 28, 2002. The petitioners have named the cabinet Secretariat, Defense Ministry, Home Ministry, District police Office, Kathmandu and armed Police Training Center as the defendants in their cases. They have also demanded action against the perpetrators. The Court can order perpetrators (in this case police and army officials) for departmental action, if found guilty.
Fourteen journalists and two human rights activists have demanded compensation of up to Rs. 100,000.00 (approx. US$ 1,228.00) each in accordance with the Torture Compensation Act, 1994. "We want to set a precedent that the state must bear responsibility for violating people’s fundamental rights even during the state of emergency," said Shyam Shrestha, editor of the pro-left Mulyankan monthly, who was detained for nearly one month during the emergency.
Bhimarjun Acharya, Co-coordinator of Legal Support Desk of NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT said, the cases were filed in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 1990 and Torture Compensation Act, 1994. According to the Act, the victim can claim for compensation of maximum Rs. 100,000.00 (approx. US$ 1,230) to be paid to the victim by the state. But such a case has to be filed within three months of the expiry of the state of emergency (if the person was victimized during the state of emergency).
The court has already asked the government to pay compensation to at least one victim of torture the compensation of Rs. 100,000.00 ((approx. US $ 1, 228.00), according to lawyers. This is the first time that a huge number of journalists and rights activists have come together to seek compensation from the state.
According to Article 115 (10) of the Constitution, "If during the continuance of a Proclamation of Order under clause (1), any damage is inflicted upon any person by an act of any official which was done in contravention of law or in bad faith, the affected person may, within three months from the date of termination of the Proclamation or Order, file a petition for a compensation for the said damage and if the court finds the claim valid, it shall cause to be delivered."
Coordinator of Legal Desk of NEPAL PRESS FREEDOM REPORT Advocate, Bhimarjun Acharya and Legal Coordinator of PFGJ, Advocate Tikaram Bhattarai will take part in the Court during hearings on behalf of victim journalists and rights activists.
List of Petitioners
Nine Journalists Killed
During the state of insurgency, altogether nine journalists were killed by security forces and the Communist Party of Maoist (CPN- Maoist) rebels in different parts of the country. The killings of the journalists will be recorded as the "black year" in the context of press freedom and freedom of expression in Nepalese history. The royal government of Nepal and the Maoist supreme were declared as predators of press freedom in the kingdom.
Journalists are considered as the messenger and disseminate news from the authorities towards common people and vice versa. However, such arbitrary actions taken by security forces and the rebels created a situation of distrust and encouraged the perpetrators to undertake more atrocities. The state still seems reluctant to undertake legal action against human rights violators and the rebels have yet to beg apology for their excesses.
Worse, the Nepalese state has been rewarding people who were involved in killing and torturing people. It must be noted that killing of the journalists is an extreme form of restriction on freedom of opinion and expression of the people.
During the period of insurgency, the security forces killed journalists Krishna Sen (Janadish daily), Iswar Budhathoki a.k.a. Kanachan Priyadarshi, Raj Kumar K.C. (former representative of the state owned National News Agency- RSS), Yam B.K. 'Patel' (Baglung weekly), Kumar Ghimire (Jana Prabhat weekly), Dev Kumar Acharya a.k.a. D. Kaudinya and Kamal A.C. (Janadisha daily) in Kathmandu, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Jhapa, Nuwakot and Surkhet districts on the allegation of being close contact with the Maoists rebels. Similarly, the Communist Party of Maoists (CPN- Maoists) rebels also killed journalists Nawa Raj Sharma (Kadam weekly) and Ambika Timsina (Janadesh) in Kalikot and Morang districts alleging them of indulging in espionage on rebel activities.
In the course of ongoing arrest, torture, disappearance and killings of journalist in the custody, the umbrella organization of the Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) announced series of agitation program on July 14, 2002 demanding formation of a Judicial Probe Commission to investigation into the alleged death of journalist Krishna Sen and disclose whereabouts of missing journalists as well as release all journalists under detention.
Dozens of journalists were victimized following the imposition of the "state of emergency." The security forces detained dozens of journalists in both police and military custody. Some of the journalists were taken to undisclosed location upon their arrest and immensely tortured in military and police custody. It was also revealed that journalists were detained in dark rooms without basic facilities and interrogated by security forces to find out the location of the rebel leaders and their source of information, among others.
As a result of severe torture, journalist Krishna Sen was killed inside the detention center due to brutal torture. FNJ gave a 48 hours ultimatum to the government to disclose the facts related to Sen. FNJ was asked to lead the movement by a meeting of the journalists and media workers. The main theme of the agitation was "Let journalists live and write freely."
During the protest programs, several human rights organizations expressed their solidarity and joined hands with the journalists. As a result of series of protest, Information and Communication Minister Jaya Prasad Gupta disclosed the whereabouts of 16 journalists. However, FNJ continuously urged to disclose the whereabouts of other journalists and demanded immediate release of all the journalists, which it said were detained illegally.
1. Immediate formation of a high level Judicial Probe Commission to investigate the cases of extra-judicial killings, torture and misbehaviour towards the journalists as well as interference over the media organizations following the imposition of the "state of emergency."
2. Immediate disclosure the whereabouts of the chief editor of Janadisha daily and Council member of FNJ, Krishna Sen.
3. Disclosure of all missing journalists, allegedly after being detained by the state.
4. Release of all arrested and missing journalists being detained in the police or military custody.
5. Immediate withdrawal of all the orders issued by the state to curtail press freedom stopping the activities of hiding information and denying the access over the sources of freedom of information to ensure conductive environment.
4th October - Royal Move (Asoj 18)
As a result of King Gyanendra’s unpopular action against democratic system on 4th October 2002, the political situation of the country got derailed and the political parties launched series of protest programs. The protest program was targeted against monarchism with executive powers and demanded correction in the Royal Move. King Gyanendra sacked caretaker Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, postponed election till an indefinite period and assumed executive powers himself on 4 October 2002. He formed a nine-member cabinet under the monarchist Prime Minister, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, on 11 October giving limited powers. The mandate given to the new government included creating environment of peace and security including holding elections of the local bodies and the House of Representatives.
King Gyanendra had sacked caretaker Prime Minister Deuba under Article 127 of the Constitution. Deuba had recommended postponing elections for more than one-year as per the consensus of an all-party meeting. Article 127 of the Constitution says, "If any difficulty arises in this connection with the implementation of the Constitution, His Majesty may issue necessary orders to remove such a difficulty and such order shall be laid before the Parliament." Earlier, the Election Commission (EC) had said on 28 September that it could hold parliamentary election in six phases by making appropriate security arrangements.
King Gyanendra said, in his televised address, "As it is our responsibility to preserve nationalism, national unity and sovereignty, as well as, to maintain peace and order in the country and also to ensure that the state of the nation does not deteriorate for any reason, a situation has arisen wherein, by virtue of the State Authority as exercised by us and in the spirit of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal-1990, as well as, taking into consideration of Article 27 (3) of the Constitution, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba should be relieved of his office, owing to his incompetence to conduct the general elections on the stipulated date in accordance with the Constitution, and the Council of Ministers dissolved. Similarly, the general elections slated for November 13 also needs to be postponed. We, therefore, issue the following orders in accordance with Article 127 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal-1990."
After the October 4th Royal move, the monarchy has been facing severe criticism from the political parties. Major political parties say they are still committed towards the constitutional monarchy. However, they said they would not cooperate with the royal-appointed government terming it as unconstitutional. Until the end of 2059 B. S. (mid April 2003), major political parties including Nepali Congress, and CPN (UML) were launching nationwide largely peaceful protest programs demanding formation of an all-party government and reinstatement of the dissolved House of Representatives.
During its six months tenure, the Chanda government was able to persuade the rebels to go for a cease-fire. However, it failed to negotiate with the agitating parties and declare dates for fresh elections.
Declaration of Cease-fire
The government and (CPN- Maoists) agreed to stop hostilities and give a chance for negotiated settlement on 29 January 2003 by declaring a cease fire with immediate effect. Previous cease-fire was unilaterally broken by the CPN (Maoist) rebels after three rounds of talk in November 2001. It also paved way for the resumption of the peace process. Following the declaration of cease-fire, the government agreed to withdraw price tag on the heads of the Maoists leaders, Red Corner notices issued through INTERPOL and removal of the terrorist label against them on 7th February 2003.
Responding to the government decision, Maoist chairman, Prachanda, reiterated his party’s major demands including holding a round table meeting, forming an interim government and holding elections for the constituent assembly election as a way out to the violent insurgency. The underground party also announced a five-member negotiation team led by its senior leader and ideologue, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Other members of the team were Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal', Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dev Gurung and Matrika Yadav.
With a view to mobilise popular opinion in their favour, two senior Maoist leaders Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Dinanath Sharma held several rounds of talks with political parties, civil society groups and professional organizations and individuals. However, solely Minister Narayan Singh Pun represented the government team for several weeks. It was reported that Pun had played a key role in bringing the rebels to the table of negotiations.
Formal government team was only declared on 16th April 2003 under the convenor ship of Deputy Prime Minister Badri Prasad Mandal comprising Ministers Narayan Singh Pun, Ramesh Nath Pandey, Upendra Devkota, Kamal Chaulagain and assistant minister Anuradha Koirala.
Amid intense pressure from the civil society, human rights groups and international community, the government and the rebels signed on a Code of Conduct on March 13, 2003 to be followed by them during the cease-fire.
Code of Conduct: Agreed by the Government and the CPN (Maoists)
Giving importance to create a conductive environment for the peace talks, considering that the talks are an important medium for the peaceful solution of the problems,
Showing commitment to the declaration of the cease-fire announced by the government and the Maoist rebels (Communist Party of Nepal–Maoist),
Both parties have, hereby, agreed upon the following points of the code of conduct to be followed by both the parties during the cease-fire:
1. Both sides will remain committed to find the peaceful solution of the problem through talks.
2. Being sensitive to the national interest both sides will try for the consensus on the important decision.
3. Both sides will stop all kinds of violent activities, and will not mobilise or use armed forces that may cause terror among the people.
4. Both sides will not perform activities, which may incite other party in sensitive areas.
5. Both sides will gradually release the people captured by them.
6. Both sides will not hinder in regular and peaceful activities of public welfare.
7. Government-owned media will impartially broadcast opinions of both sides.
8. Nobody will give vent to their views, which are likely to adversely affect the talks and peace process from the media. They will pay attention to use polite and disciplined language while publicising their own political views.
9. Both sides will not extort money or seek financial support against the will.
10. Both sides will not organise strikes or transportation strikes during the talks but peaceful rallies or gatherings can be organised.
11. Both sides will stop unnecessary search, arrests or kidnapping.
12. Both sides will help each other to maintain peace in the country during the cease-fire.
13. Both sides will not ban the transportation of food items, medicine and other daily consumer goods.
14. Both sides will respect people’s rights to free movement from one place to another.
15. Both sides will respect the fundamental rights of the people.
16. Both sides will not disturb the movement and activities of the persons involved in the peace talks.
17. Both sides will help the displaced people to return to their homes.
18. The code of conducts monitoring team to be formed through mutual agreement.
19. If any amendment in the code of conduct is needed, it will only be done through mutual agreement.
20. In case of a difference or controversy in the interpretation of the code of conduct, both sides will sit together to solve it.
21. The code of conduct can be terminated through mutual agreement.
22. This code of conduct will come into effect immediately and should be fully implemented within three weeks of the signing of this agreement.
Violation of Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression
This period will be known as one of the most challenging for press freedom and human rights sector in the Nepalese history in terms of killing, disappearances, arrest, misbehaviour, torture and harassment of journalists and human rights activists. A total of nine journalists were killed by the security forces and the Communist Party of Maoists (CPN- Maoists) rebels during this period. The security forces allegedly killed some journalists after taking them into their custody and the CPN (Maoists) rebels killed media professionals in cold blood and later alleged them to be working as "spies" against their activities. Such actions have ultimately affected the freedom of movement of the journalists and free expression activists especially in the insurgency-hit areas.
Kanchan Priyadarshi, former secretary of FNJ
Former secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) Kanchan Priyadarshi alias Iswor Budhathoki, a resident of Pipaldanda, Sindhupalchowk, was killed by the security forces at Jalbire VDC, Sindhupalchowk district on April 29, 2002.
Priyadarshi was also a representative of the Human Rights Yearbook, an annual publication of the Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), a human rights NGO based in Kathmandu. He was involved in journalism for the last one decade.
It is reported that Priyadarshi had gone under-ground fearing reprisal from the security forces. Security forces claimed that they had evidence of Priyadrshi being active in the CPN (Maoists) movement.
Yam B.K. Patel, Baglung Weekly
A reporter with Baglung weekly, Yam B. K. Patel, was found dead inside the forest of Devisthan VDC of Myagdi district on May 5, 2002. According to local journalists, security forces killed him after taking him into their custody. He was arrested by the security forces in February 2002 from Rum VDC, Okharbot in Myagdi district. Patel was also working as schoolteacher at a local school.
Krishna Sen, Janadisha Daily
Editor of Janadisha daily and central council member of FNJ, Krishna Sen was killed by the inhumane torture committed by the security forces after his arrest in the custody. The security forces had arrested Sen on May 20, 2002 from Battisputali, Kathmandu along with two other journalists. Besides being a journalist, Sen was a well-known poet, a progressive writer and was known as "Ichhuk" in literary arena.
According to Jana Astha weekly, security forces killed Sen during the period of 25th to 27th of June 2002 at the Mahendra Police Club of the Nepal Police in Kathmandu after severe torture. Along with other three to four detainees, Sen was beaten brutally in a 2550 square feet room by the security forces. After his death, his body was taken out by a group of policemen and kept in a HILUX Pick up van. The newspaper also published the number of the vehicle but reports said the vehicle number was changed to hide the facts.
After Jana Astha broke the news, a number of national and international organization put tremendous pressure upon the government to disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Sen. As a result, the government made an announcement saying that the security forces had not arrested Sen and they were looking him.
A Paris-based press freedom watchdog, the Reporters sans Frontiers (RSF) sent its special mission to investigate into the alleged killings of Sen and brought out a number of facts to the general public. According to RSF, Sen was killed after being kept into custody for eight days (on 28 May 2002) at Mahendra Police Club as a result of brutal beating and inhumane torture. Sen was declared dead at Birendra Police Hospital in Maharajgunj. On 30 May 2002, Dr. Harihar Wasti performed a postmortem on a unidentified body and claimed that perhaps the body was probably of Sen. The reason of the killing of the body was found to be two shots fired from the close distance.
The RSF quoted Nepal Police officials as saying that Sen was killed in an encounter with the security forces in the forest of Gokarna (to the north east of Kahtmandu). The postmortem report prepared by the Birendra Police Hospital said that the person (believed to be Sen) was killed in an encounter. The scars of bullets were found in his abdomen and chest. Finally, the dead body was quietly buried at Aryaghat in Pashupatinath area.
Later, the government was forced to form a probe commission amid growing pressure from the national and international press freedom and free expression groups. The commission, led by Sushil Jung Bahadur Rana, joint secretary at the Home Ministry, did not reveal any new things but indicated that a person whose body was cremated at the banks of Bishnumati river in Kathmandu could be that of Mr. Sen.
Sen was arrested for the first time on 20 May 2000 after publishing the news report of Bhattedanda attack from the Maoists rebels and publishing the interview of the Maoists leader, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, in Janadesh weekly . He was released after spending 22 months in different prisons in Kathmandu, Rajbiraj and Siraha as per a Supreme Court order under a habeas corpus petition.
Upon his release, Sen again started publishing and editing Janadisha Daily, said to be the mouthpiece of the underground Maoists. He continued to serve as editor of the Janadesh weekly. Sen had gone underground after the declaration of the state of emergency on 26 November 2001 as most of his colleagues from Janadesh had been arrested. He was arrested along with his two colleagues Atindra Neupane and Sangita Khadka. The government had also declared a "cash reward" on his head and made pubic his photographs describing him as terrorist along with other senior Maoist leaders. After his death, the underground Maoist party declared that he was one of the senior members of the party.
Navaraj Sharma, editor Kadam weekly
The reports of killing of editor and publisher of Kadam weekly published from remote Kalikot district, Navaraj Sharma 'Basanta,' became public only after two months of his abduction. Sharma was also President the FNJ ad hoc committee in the district and was also working as a schoolteacher at local Badi Malika Secondary School.
Eyewitnesses told a group of human rights monitors from the National Human Rights Commission that Sharma was killed by the CPN (Maoists) rebels after removing of his eyes, chopping off his both hands and legs. His dead body was found in drainage between Siuna and Sipkhana- 4 with bullet shots in his chest.
On July/August 2001, the Maoists rebels had taken Sharma into hostage for nearly two weeks on charge of drinking alcohol. Police also interrogated him after the rebels released him. Later, he was said to be working closely with the local administration and, hence, targeted by the rebels. Sharma used to live at the district headquarters citing security reasons.
Kadam was registered with the local administration as a monthly magazine and was being published later as a fortnightly magazine. The administration was watching him closely when one of his co-workers, Kashi Chandra Baral, went underground and reportedly joined the Maoist movement.
In November 2001, Sharma was able to visit his village after the declaration of the cease-fire. He had to be physically present and report regularly to the local administration to prove that he had no involvement with the rebellion.
According to reports, he had gone to his village after being appeared at a ‘Tarekh’ in May 2002. He is believed to have been killed by the rebels sometime in May 2002. His gruesome murder may be considered one of the cruelest behavior by the rebels towards a journalist and a non-combatant.
D. Kaudinya, Columnist, Swadhin Sambad
A columnist with Swadhin Sambad and litterateur, D. Kaudinya alias Dev Kumar Acharya was killed by the security forces on July 23, 2002 along with his two other colleagues. According the report, Kaudinya was arrested in Budhbare VDC- 7, Jhapa.
One of his close colleagues and former president of FNJ Jhapa Section, Keshav Acharya, Kaudinya believed in bringing changes in the society through ideological debate. He had also published a number of articles in local and weekly newspapers published from Jhapa denouncing Maoists’ violent activities.
Kaudinya had also been teaching at Kakadbhitta Higher Secondary School. He reportedly died as a result of severe torture. Security forces, however, claimed that he was killed during an encounter at Khudunabari.
Kamal A. C., Janadisha weekly
Reporter of Janadisha weekly, Kamal A. C., was shot dead by security forces at Girkhu VDC, Nuwakot district. A resident of Bherlung VDC- 3 Ghalechhap, Tanahu district AC was hiding in Nuwakot district after the arrest of all of his colleagues in Kathmandu, where he was studying at Amrit Science College. Reports say, security forces killed him after surrounding the house on 1st Oct 2002, where he was hiding in Girkhu VDC. He is also reported as vice-chairman of Kathmandu district committee of ANNFSU (Revolutionary).
Kumar Ghimire, Janaprabhat weekly and Janasamar weekly
A reporter of Janaprabhat weekly and columnist with Janasamar weekly published from Sindhulimadhi, Kumar Ghimire was shot dead on 2nd Oct 2002 by a group of security personnel patrolling the region. His body was later found at drainage in Bubaneswari VDC. He was actively involved in journalism for the last one year.
According to editor of Jana Prabhat weekly, Lilanath Ghimire, Kumar was critical of the Maoist violent activities and had published a number of articles in the Janaprabhat weekly. He was also associated with the "Good Governance Radio Listener's Club."
A member of Nepali Congress, Ghimire had also spoken against the atrocities of the security forces through his articles in the newspapers and in personal meetings.
As a result of killing of Ghimire, people residing in Sindhuli and Ramechhap were terrorized. His family members feared to remove his dead body and did not carry out his last rites out of fear. Defence Ministry sources, however, alleged Ghimire of being a mastermind of the terrible attack by the rebels at the Bhiman police post.
Raj Kumar K. C., former representative of RSS
Former district representative of National News Agency (RSS), Raj Kumar K. C. was assassinated during the counter-insurgency operation by the security forces in Deurali VDC of Ramechhap on 24th Oct 2002. K. C. was arrested along with his two other colleagues by the security forces form his own home and killed in Lalu VDC- 1 , Devisthan Danda.
Ambika Timsina, Janadesh weekly
Suspected Maoist rebels killed local journalist, Ambika Timsina, who was working for Janadesh weekly. A resident of Pathari- 3, Durga Chowk, Timsina's parents were reportedly supporters of the Maoists insurgency. Following the imposition of the "state of emergency," Timsina had surrendered before the local administration saying that he no more had contacts with them. As a result, the rebels had been keeping a watch on him.
On 26th Dec 2002, about eight unknown assailants took Timsina from his house saying that they wanted to discuss something with him. His dead body was found the next day at drainage near his home. He was shot dead but was also found with injuries all over his body.
Family sources claimed that the Maoists rebels were responsible for Timsina’s murder. Timsina was preparing for his wedding while he was killed. His father, Khagendra Timsina, had also surrendered before the local administration denying any involvement with the rebels.
Mumaram Khanal, Dishabodh Daily
The security forces arrested the editor and publisher of Dishabodh monthly on 13th April 2002 from his rented residence at Sankhmul, Kathmandu. Khanal's whereabouts remain unknown after his arrest.
Dishabodh monthly sources said Khanal was sent to Gorakha district into military detention after one week of his arrest. The CPN (Maoist) later confirmed that Mr. Khanal was the central committee member of the Party and continued demanding his release.
According to news reports, the government negotiator Narayan Singh Pun and Maoist negotiator Krishna Bahadur Mahara had met Khanal at a resort in Gorakha after the cease-fire. The Army is said to have organised the meeting upon the request of the rebels.
Arjun Thapaliya, Dishabodh Monthly and Jana Awhwan Weekly
Managing editor of Dishabodh monthly and Jana Awhwan weekly, Arjun Thapaliya, was arrsested by security forces from his residence at Kapan VDC, Kathmandu on 13th April 2002. According to reports, he was kept in military detention in the capital for some time and was transferred to No. 3 Military Battalian, Pokhara. In response to a habeas corpus petition, the defendants Defense Ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs and No. 3 Military Battalion refused that they had ever arrested or kept him under detention.
Minu Budhathoki, Dishabodh Monthly
An office staff of Dishabodh monthly, Minu Budhathoki, was arrested by the security forces from her rented apartment at Sankhamul, Kathmandu on 13th April 2002. Her whereabouts remain undisclosed. A CPN (Maoist) source claimed that she was being kept under detention by security forces.
Prem Sagar, The Messenger
Editor and publisher of The Messenger weekly, Prem Sagar was abducted by three unidentified persons in front of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu on 14th De 2002 at 8:30PM, while he was returning home from the office. Family sources said, he is no more in contact with them after his abduction. The statement issued by his colleague Hom Nath Bhandari, said that the reason of his abduction remain unknown. Prem Sagar used to work in Nepalgunj and had recently moved to Kathmandu to launch the newspaper.
Chitra Chaudhari, Yugyan weekly
Consultant editor of Nawa Parichaya weekly and former chief editor of Yugyan weekly, Chitra Chaudhary, was arrested by security forces on 6th Dec 2001 from National Lower Secondary School located in Pathraiya, Kailali. He was reportedly detained in several army detention centers in western Nepal and released on 12th Dec 2002. Chaudhari was head master of the school from where he was arrested.
A group of journalists including Manarishi dhital of Dishabodh monthly, Dipendra Rokaya, Dipak Sapkota and Dhan Bahdur Magar of Janadesh weekly and Mina Sharma of Ekyabadhata monthly were arrested in Kathmandu by security personnel just few hours before the declaration of the "state of emergency" on 26 November 2001; and released on 5th Nov, 2002.
Iswar Chandra Gyawali, Dishabodh monthly
Plaincloths policemen executive editor of Dishabodh monthly, Iswar Chandra Gyawali, from the office of Janadesh weekly on 26 November 2001 and was released on 5th Nov 2002. He was detained in the Armed Police Training center in Maharajgunj for 24 days, where he was denied basic facilities. He said he was chained even during the night and was blindfolded during the interrogation.
Gyawali was also threatened by the prison administration in Bhadra Bandi Griha where he was kept in the latter days of his detention. After six months of his detention, the government declared price tag on his head causing serious mental torture upon him and his family members.
Bandhu Dev Pandey, Kalam Quarterly
The manager of Kalam litterateur Quarterly Bandhu Dev Pandey was arrested by security forces on 28th Jan 2002 and was released on 5th Nov 2002. As a result of severe torture, Pandey received several injuries and had some problem in nerves at forehead and ear.
Govinda Acharya, Janadesh weekly
Editor of Jandesh weekly, Govinda Acharya, was arrested by plaincloths policemen on 26 November 2001 and was released on 16th Dec 2002 in the presence of Gopal Budhathoki, vice- president, and Mahendra Bista, secretary of the FNJ. Acharya was kept in Bhadra Bandi Griha since December 2001. The authorities handed out papers to him declaring his release but he was not released from the detention.
Purushottam Lamsal, Naya Ruprekha weekly
A reporter of Naya Ruprekha weekly, Purushottam Lamsal, was released on 24th May 2002 at the initiation of the FNJ Nuwakot section. He was arrested on 2nd March 2001 from Bidur, Nuwakot. Sources said he was immensely tortured both psychologically and physically during the detention.
Om Sharma, Janadisha daily
Security forces arrested Om Sharma, a former central committee member of FNJ and editor of Janadish daily, on 26th Nov 2001. He was detained at the Armed Police office at Maharajgunj for 24 days. Sharma was denied access to anybody and was immensely tortured while in the detention. He was later kept in a Kathmandu jail under preventive detention for months. He was released on 8th March 2003 as a result of the Supreme Court verdict.
Krishna Prasad Khanal, Dishabodh monthly
Krishna Prasad Khanal, who was affiliated to Dishabodh monthly, was released on 7th Feb 2003 as per the verdict of the Supreme Court. He was arrested by the security forces on 29th March 2002 from his residence at Naikap, Kathmandu and was taken blindfolded into Chhauni Army Barrack. The following day, he was severely beaten by using sticks and boots. He was also kept in cold water for whole night and beaten with ‘sisnu,’ a kind of herb and was delivered electric shocks.
He was again brought into the Chhauni Bararck and then transferred to Lagankhel Army Bararck. He was kept in detention for 77 days without any access to see his families. Finally, he was imprisoned at the Bhadra Bandi Griha in the capital.
Khil Bahadur Bhandari, Janadesh weekly
Khil Bahadur Bhandari, executive editor of Janadesh weekly, was released on 4th March 2002, as a result of sixth round of verdict from the Supreme Court for his release. He was arrested on 26 November 2001 hours before the declaration of the state of emergency and was detained for 24 days in the Armed Police Bararck, at Maharajgunj. He was not allowed to see even his family members. He was interrogated blindfolded and was transferred to Bhadra Bandi Griha on 18th Dec 2002.
Bhandari was imprisoned under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Control Act. They were released four times officially but they were never able to step out of the prison compound.
General secretary of FNJ Bishnu Nishthuri, central member Binod Dhungel and one of the facilitators in the government-Maoist talks, Birendra Jhapali, were also present during his release.
Nim Bahdur Budhathoki, Janadesh weekly
Budhathoki, computer operator of Dishabodh weekly was arrested from his office on 25th Novemebr 2001 hours before the declaration of the state of emergency. He was kept in different prisons including Bhadra Bandi Griha. He was tortured mentally and physically in the detention He was released on 10th March 2003.
Chandraman Shrestha, Janadisha daily
Managing director of Janadisha daily, Chandra Man Shrestha, was arrested by the security forces from his office hours before the declaration of the state of emergency. He was found unconscious as a result of severe beating by the security personnel using sticks and boots. Shrestha was arrested along with his wife and minor child.
The authorities released Shrestha on 25th Nov 2002. After his release, Shrestha told reporters that security forces used the beat him until the stick got broken down, delivered him electric shock and also ordered him to sink in the water. During the interrogation, he was asked about the CPN (Maoists) leaders and their whereabouts. His wife has not been released.
Dipak Mainali, Janadisha daily
Rambhakta Maharjan, Janadesh weekly
Dipak Mainali of Janadisha daily and Rambhakta Maharjan of Janadesh weekly were arrested on 26th November 2001 hours prior to the declaration of the state of emergency. Both Mainali and Maharjan were released on 4th Nov 2002.
Bishnu Khanal and Liladhar Gautam, Surkhet Post
Editor Bishnu Khanal and executive editor Liladhar Gautam of Surkhet Post were arrested on 27th November 2001 and were released on 23rd June 2002.
Dev Kumar Yadav, Janadisha Daily
Dev Kumar Yadav, reporter of Janadisha and janak Aawaj daily, was also the representative of Mahima weekly in Siraha district. He was arrested on 10th Dec 2001 from Siraha without any charge sheet. He was transferred to Siraha prison on 21th Dec 2001. According to Yadav, he was misbehaved and threatened by the police officers and officials while in the detention. Yadav was released on 7th Jan 2003 on condition that he would have to report to the police regularly.
Devidutta Poudel, Sirahali Times
On suspicion of being a Maoist activist, a reporter with Sirahali Times, Devidutta Poudel, was arrested from Kirtipur, Kathmandu, while he was preparing his exams in March 2002. He was kept in Central Prison in Kathmandu and was immensely tortured both physically and mentally after his arrest. He was released on 20th Dec 2002.
Dev Ram Prasad Yadav, Blast Times
Security personnel arrested Dev Ram Prasad Yadav, Siraha correspondent of the Blast Times published from Dharan, in Siraha district upon the order of the local administration on 13th dec 2001. He was immensely tortured during the detention. Yadav was released on 15th Feb 2003.
Rajendra Karki, Blast Times
A reporter with the Blast Times, Rajendra Karki was arrested from Saptari district and was transferred to Sunsari prison after immense torture in the detention. He was detained for 13 months and was also denied access to newspapers or radio. As a result of torture, he is still having problem in his left arm. He was released on 2nd Feb 2003.
Prithvi Bahadur Karki, freelance journalist
A member of FNJ Jhapa and a freelance journalist, Prithvi Bahdur Karki, was arrested by security forces without any charge sheet on 2nd Dec 2001 Damak Municipality- 11 and was released on 4th June2002. Karki was subjected to severe mental torture while in the detention.
Again, police personnel from Damak Police Post had arrested Karki on 28th Jan 2003, while he was walking on the street in Damak and was released after two hours. In Police Post, he was interrogated about a quarterely magazine "Aarko Bikalpa" (Another Alternative) which he edited, and was also asked if had any contacts with the rebels.
Sama Thapa, Yugyan weekly
Security forces arrested Sama Thapa, editor and publisher of Yugyan weekly without any charge sheet from his office on 6th Dec 2001. He was detained for the first one month at District Police Office, Dhangadhi and then for another two months at the Regional Police Office in the same town. He was also detained briefly at the Army Bararck at Boradandi and at the Armed Police Barack at Banadehada in Kailali.
According to Thapa, he was interrogated after keeping him inside sack (sealed bag) and was beaten on the feet by a Bamboo stick despite bleeding. Thapa said that he was interrogated at least five times by both military and Police and also asked about the source of news related to Maoists activities.
His family members were denied to see him for the first three months of his detention and were released on condition that he would have to report to the District Police Office twice a week. He was not handed out any papers during his arrest and was arrested on suspicion of his close link with CPN (Maoists).He was released on 4th April 2002.
P. B. Diyali, Blast Times
Police personnel from Itahari Police Post arrested co-editor of the Blast Times, P. B. Diyali, on 21th Dec 2001, and was detained at the Inaruwa Police post. The District Administration office gave him a charge-sheet three days after his arrest. He was also threatened during the interrogation while in the detention. According to Diyali, officials at the District Administration Office and local Police continuously monitored his activities and inflicted mental torture upon him. He was released on 28th April 2002.
Komal Nath Baral, Rastriya Swabhiman Weekly
Editor and publisher of Rastriya Swabhiman weekly Komal Nath Baral was released on 8th April 2003 as per the court order. He was detained in Kaski after arrest from his residence Lekhnath Municipality- 3 on 22nd Dec 2001. Then, he was kept in detention for seven months in Damauli, Tanahu and another eight months in Kaski prison. He has spent over night in the premises of Bar Association due to fear from the authorities for his re-arrest.
Badri Prasad Sharma, Baglung Weekly
An editor of Baglung weekly, Badri prasad Sharma was released on 13th March 2003 in the presence of local journalists Gyanendra Gautam, Rajesh Rajbhandari, Bibhu Bhusal and Dipak Gautam.
Security forces had arrested Sharma on 27th Dec 2001 from his residence at Baglung Municipality- 5 and was detained for 21 days at the Army barrack and was subject to immense torture. Sharma said, he was arrested as a result of prejudice and published news reports against the atrocities by the police officials and corruption.
Janardan Biyogi, Rastriya Swabhiman Weekly
The authorities have released co-editor of local Rastriya Swabhiman daily Janardan Biyogi and his wife Shanti Sunuwar on 19th March 2003. He was arrested from his rented house at Pokhara Sub- Municipality-8 Shiwalaya Chowk by security personnel on 30 Dec 2001. He was kept at an undisclosed under military detention and was sent to the prison only a few months ahead of his release.
Biyogi said he was threatened of life several times during the military detention and was also warned not to speak anything against the army. As a result of severe torture, he is suffering from back pain and said that he has lost his memory power. He was released in the presence of human rights activists, Bhupa Nidhi Pant and Tilak Parajuli including journalists Madhav Sharma and Raju Chhetri.
Bhupendra Rai, Blast Times
Associated with the Blast Times published from Dharan, Bhupendra Rai was arrested by security forces from Ratapani, Thoksila, Udayapur on 5th Jan 2002. The security forces had fired at him before taking him into custody. After being detained for two days at Beltar Police Post, he was transferred into military custody. During the detention, security forces repeatedly asked him to speak truth (that is, his alleged association with the rebels).
After one-month detention, security forces handed him out a three- month detention charge-sheet and also attempted to initiate a case involving him in the murder of one Parashuram Adhikari, a resident of Thoksila-7. Later, he was released as the government attorney refused to file a case against him. He was arrested without any charge-sheet and was released on 2nd Jan 2003.
Hari Baral, Bijayapur weekly
Security forces arrested journalist Hari Baral associated with Bijayapur weekly on 3rd Jan 2002. He was put behind bars at the Sunsari prison.
Suresh Chandra Adhikari, Chure Sandesh
Chief editor and publisher of Chure Sandesh, Suresh Chandra Adhikari was arrested by security forces from Kathmandu on 23rd Jan 2002 and was detained at District Police Office, Kathmandu. He was transferred to Chitwan on 26th Jan 2002 blindfolded and handcuffed and then handed over to District Police Office, Chitwan. Finally, he was sent for the imprisonment on 10th Feb 2002. Reports said he was tortured both physically and menally.
Adhikari was given electric shock, syringe water in nose, was handcuffed and chained besides being beaten severely. Prior to his arrest, security forces searched his house, terrorized his family members and took away the press materials.
He was released on 8th Nov 2002. According to Adhikari, he was detained and tortured for the news reports published in his paper. He further said that he was not allowed to see his family members in the beginning and also stated that he is facing a number of health problems due to torture.
Biswa Raj Poudel (Posh Raj)
Executive editor of Chure Sandesh, Biswa Raj Poudel was arrested on 23rd Jan 2002 from Ratnapark, Kathmandu and was released on 25th Feb 2003 from Chitwan prison. He was transferred to Chitwan prison after his arrest in Kathmandu. It is also known that he was also tortured both physically and mentally along with his colleague, Suresh Chandra Adhikari.
Bishnu Raj Giri, Trishuli Prawaha
A resident of Ganeshsthan- 1, Nuwakot and a reporter with Trishuli Prawaha weekly, Bishnu Raj Giri, was arrested by security forces on 1st Feb 2002 and was released on 2nd July 2002. He was also tortured after his arrest.
Chintamani Poudel, Aadarsha Samaj
A member of FNJ, Chitwan district and co-editor of Adarsha samaj daily published from Gaidakot, Nawalparasi, Chintamani Poudel was released on 7th May 2002 from Chitwan prison. Plainclothes policemen had arrested Poudel from his office on 13th April 2002 and was taken to an undisclosed location blindfolded.
According to Poudel, he was arrested without any charge-sheet. He said he may have been targeted for the news reports published in his paper. He was also interrogated by security personnel in the past. During the first three days of the arrest, he was handcuffed and was tortured both physically and mentally.
Yubaraj Pandey, Nayadisha Daily
Security personnel arrested Yub Raj Pandey, affiliated to Naya Disha daily, published from western town of Butwal on 27th April 2002 He was released on the same day. Reports said the local army chief put pressure upon him to beg apology for the critical news reports published in his paper following his arrest.
Kedar Bhattrai and Prakash Thapa, Nawa Yugbani
Security personnel raided Nawa Yugbani weekly and arrested journalists Kedar Bhattrai and Prakash Thapa, reporters with the weekly including eight other press workers on the evening of 29th April 2002. The arrested press workers included computer operator Sita Adhikari, proof reader Balaram Dhamala, co-manager Prahlad Basnet, cameraman Raj Kumar Karki and machineman Bel Bahdur Ale, who were working in the office of the Nepali Aawaj weekly. They were released after three hours and were interrogated at the Tinkune Police Post.
Bhim Prasad Sapkota, Narayani Khabar
Co-editor of Narayani Khabar daily, Bhim Prasad Sapkota, was arrested by security forces on 6th April 2002 from his residence at Chitwan and was brutally beaten by the Bamboo stick and butt of the gun after his arrest. He was handcuffed and was also blindfolded after his arrest. He was first taken into Bhawani Barrack in Bharatpur, Chitwan and was immensely tortured employing different methods. He was also kept submerged in the water and was administered electric shocks.
A part of his right arm was cut and "salt-and-pepper" put into it. He was asked about his "final wishes" after he was taken out from the tent.
He was not allowed to see his family members while in the army custody and was handed over to Nepal Police on 2nd May 2002. He was detained under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act, 2002 since 5th May 2002 and was released on 23rd Dec 2002 on condition of reporting to the local Police Station every day.
Bharat Sigdel, Janadisha Daily
Security personnel arrested a reporter with Janadisha daily, Bharat Sigdel, as soon as he was released from the Central prison in Kathmandu on 23rd Jan 2003. He was taken into custody on 19th May 2002 under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act, 2002 and was released on 25th March 2003 as per a court order.
Anil Chauhan, Dishabodh Monthly
Reporter and Office Secretary of Dishabodh Monthly, Anil Chauhan, was arrested on 2nd May 2002 from Kathmandu. He was detained at the district Police Office at Hanuman Dhoka, Kathmandu and was transferred to Bhadra Bandi Griha. In Military detention, he was kept blindfolded and handcuffed and was also brutally tortured.
He was imprisoned under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act, 2002 after he was handed over to the Nepal Police and was released on 23rd Jan 2003 on the condition of reporting to authorities at a regular interval of time."
Shiva Tiwari, Janadisha daily
Security forces arrested Shiva Tiwari, executive editor of Janadisha daily and member of FNJ, Kathmandu on 19th May 2002 He was kept at the Mahendra Police Club where he was brutally beaten. He was administered electric shock. Police officials also threatened him of his life. After being detained without any charge, he was later sent to Bhadra Bandi Gria under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act, 2002.
According to Tiwari, he was kept in military detention until 23rd Aug 2002 with immense torture and was transferred to District Police Office at Hanuman Dhoka. He was transferred to Bhadra Bandi Griha again after two days. Tiwari has also worked with "Haank" and "Mahima" weekly and was released as per the Supreme Court order on 24th March 2003.
Lal Bahadur Chalaune, Janadisha daily
Affiliiated to Janadisha daily, Lal bahdur Chalaune was arrested on 19th May 2002 and was released on26th March 2003.
Sangita Khadka, Jana Aawhan weekly
An associated with Jana Awhan weekly Sangita Khadka was arrested along with journalist Krishna Sen from Battisputali, Kathmandu on 20th May 2002. She was kept at the Mahendra Police Club handcuffed and blindfolded for whole night after the arrest. She was also beaten by the stick and boots. She was threatened of her life and had to face attempts for rape. She had injuries in her mouth, head and joints. She was transferred to New Baneswar Ward Police Post and detained for 16 days. Finally, she was taken to Thankot Military Barrack and was beaten brutally after stripping her clothes. She was again transferred to New Baneswar Police Post and Bouddha Police Post where she spent 44 days in utter inhuman conditions. She was then transferred to Anamnagar Ward Police Post where she was given meals only once in two days. From Anamnagar, she was taken to District Police Office at Hanuman Dhoka and was finally sent to Central Women’s Prison after 100 days of her arrest. She was released on 21st March 2003 as per the Supreme Court verdict.
Atindra Neupane, Janadisha Daily
Security personnel arrested Atindra Neupane, member of FNJ and associated with Janadisha daily on 19th May 2002 from Battisputali, Kathmandu. He was only released on 10th March 2003 after spending several months in imprisonment.
Bhanu Dhungel, Bibechana daily
Security forces arrested journalist Bhanu Dhungel, associated with Bibechana Daily, from Jyamirgadhi- 5 Jhapa on 22nd May 2002 without any charge-sheet. He was taken several times into a nearby forest handcuffed and blindfolded during the night and was threatened of his life. They also warned him for reporting on the death of journalist Yam Acharya. Dhungel was released on 16th March 2003.
Tara Neupane, Freelance journalist
Freelance journalist and member of FNJ, Tara Neupane was arrested by the plainclothes security forces from the FNJ, Kathmandu district office on 23rd May 2002 Upon his release, Neupane said that he was immensely tortured in the detention. He was released on 24th March 2003. He was also associated with Sanghu weekly and is also a former editor of Pristhbhumi weekly.
Rewati Sapkota, Rajdhani daily
Plainclothes security personnel arrested a reporter with Rajdhani daily Rewati Sapkota from his residence at Maitidevi, Kathmandu on 24th May 2002 He was reportedly taken for "routine" interrogation at Kamalpokhari Police station but his whereabouts remained unknown.
He was detained at Mahendra Police Club and District Police Office in Hanuman Dhoka. He was blindfolded with his hands and legs tied at the Police Club. He was released on 28th May 2002. As a result of brutal torture, he is having serious health problem and is under regular medication.
Mina Sharma Tiwari and Binod Tiwari
Editor and Publisher Mina Sharma Tiwari and co-editor Binod Tiwari of Ekyabadhata monthly magazine were arrested by the armed security forces on 24th May 2002. They were taken immediately blindfolded to an undisclosed location. Sharma was kept for two days at the Anamanagar Police Post in Kathmandu without disclosing her location. They were also detained at Balaju Army Barrack for eleven days blindfolded. They were not allowed to talk to each other. Forom Balaju, they were taken to Chhauni Army Barrack and detained for 15 days. Finally, they were sent to Districit Police Office Hanuman Dhoka through Sorhakhutte Police Post.
During detention, Mina Sharma was administered electric shock and was threatened of her life. She was not also allowed to see her children who were seven and nine years old. She was released on 5th Nov 2002 alongwith co-editor Binod Tiwari.
Krishna Prasad Gautam, Chandeswari Publications
Security personnel took into custody Krisna Prasad Gautam on 1st June 2002 from his Bookshop at Ratnapark, Kathmandu. Gautam is associated with Chandeswari Publications, which publishes a number of publications including Prabhatkalin Janasatta daily, Sandhyakalin eveninger, and Janasatta weekly.
According to the press statement issued by the Publications, Gautam was arrested for selling books and newspapers related with the Royal massacre. He was detained for 10 days and released on 11th June 2002 on condition of reporting to the Police station once a month.
Ramhari Poudel, Nepal Samacharpatra daily
A reporter with Nepal Samacharpatra daily, Ramhari Poudel was arrested by security forces from Farping, Kathmandu on 13th June 2002 and was detained at Swambhu Police Post. Poudel was released on 23rd July 2002 and was handed over to his relatives. According to Poudel, he was not misbehaved during the detention.
Nawaraj Pahadi, Kantipur Daily
A reporter with Kantipur daily in Lamjung district, Nawaraj Pahadi was arrested on 23rd June 2002 by the joint task force of the Royal Nepal Army and the Nepal Police. He was taken for routine interrogation from his home and was released on same day.
Maheswar Dahal, Partha Chhetri and Nibha Shah 'Aditi', Nepali Aawaj
Journalists Maheswar Dahal, Partha Chetri and Nibha Shah associated with Nepali Aawaj, a publication of the CPN (Maoists), published from New Delhi, India were arrested on 11th July 2002 by Indian security personnel and extradited to Nepal Government. Dahal and Chhetri were released on 20th March 2003 as per the Supreme Court order in response to the habeas corpus petititons. Aditi was released on 14th March 2003.They were detained under the Terrorist and Disruptive (Control and
Binod Dahal, Monthly Magazine
Associated with monthly magazine published from Kathmandu, Binod Dahal was arrested by security forces from Sindhuli district on charge of maintaining close relation with the CPN (Maoist) rebels. He was released on 21st March 2003.
Kumar Pandit, Satalahar weekly
Editor of Satalahar weekly published from Nuwakot district, Kumar Pandit was arrested on 13th July 2002 from Balaju, by-pass in Kathmandu. A resident of Nuwakot district, Pandit was released the following day.
Dhan Bahadur Magar, FNJ Kathmandu
Plainclothes policemen arrested photojournalist and Secretary of FNJ Kathmandu unit, Dhan bahadur Magar, from the office of FNJ, Kathmandu on 19th July 2002 Magar was kept in detention blindfolded and was immensely tortured. He was released on 5th Nov 2002.
Suresh Shahi, Nepal Bhasha
Security forces arrested journalist Suresh Shahi affiliated to Nepal Bhasha, a Newari language eveninger on 25th July 2002 without any charge sheet and was detained in central prison. According to editor Suresh Manadhar, Shahi was detained for three months without any official charges.
Thirty-six journalists detained briefly in Chitwan
Police personnel took into custody twenty-two journalists in Chitwan district, while they were attending the Lantern rally as part of the nationwide protest program launched by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) on 9th Aug 2002.They were released the same evening.
Police had arrested another fourteen journalists in different parts of the country the same day and released them after a few hours.
Kishor Shrestha, Jana Astha weekly
Plainclothes policemen arrested for the second time, Kisor Shrestha, editor of Jana Astha weekly and council member of FNJ from his office on 4th Aug 2002. He was then taken to District Police Office at Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu.
Shrestha was detained for publishing news reports using uncivilized words to Superintendent of Police, Ram Chandra Khanal. In the weekly which alleged that a five-star hotel in the capital was supplying free meal to Mr. Khanal. Janastha sources also claimed that Mr. Shrestha may have been targeted for publishing news report regarding the alleged death of journalist Krishna Sen in police custody. Shrestha was released the following day after he apologized in writing over the news report related to Mr. Khanal. Shrestha later said he was forced to sign the apology as prepared by the police officials.
Earlier, Shrestha was reportedly harassed by security personnel for publishing a news item "Indian security personnel enter Nepal." The Defense Ministry immediately denied the news report.
On yet another occasion, Shrestha went underground for 41 days after security personnel tried to nab him for publishing a news report entitled "colorful nights in the Nepali cine industry" on 9th Oct 2002. Police had issued him a warrant after an actress, Shreesha Karki, committed suicide following the publication of her naked photo by the weekly. Karki had committed suicide six days after the publication of the news report. She was preparing for her marriage while her photo was published.
A galaxy of Nepalese movie industry launched a sustained campaign against "yellow journalism" and filed separate cases at the Court and District Police Office, Kathmandu, demanding that Mr. Shrestha be held responsible for the "murder" of Ms. Karki.
Based on the complaints, Nepal Police filed a case against editor Shrestha at the District Administration Office, Kathmandu. At the same time, Shrestha also filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court claiming that there was no legal provision to file two cases on the same charge.
After Ms. Kaki's suicide, the umbrella organization of Nepalese journalists, FNJ sought clarification from Shrestha regarding the scandal. Nepal Press Council also instructed Shrestha to make a public apology for the use of language and publishing indecent picture. The Council maintained that the newspaper had violated the "code of conduct."
Nepal police raided the office of Jana Astha weekly, confiscated Computer and other news materials amid protests by different groups of cine actors. Police threatened other news reporters who were not involved in that news and arrested the accountant of the weekly, Suraj Shrestha. There were reports that security personnel threatened the family members of Shrestha. Police also raided his two houses located at Patan Sundhara and Nakhhu.
After the suicide of actress Karki, editor Shrestha published a front-page editorial begging apology for the entire episode. He, however, expressed surprise over the death of actress Karki.
Shrestha was released within 24 hours of detention on both occasions.
Bishnu Ghimire, Jana Prahar weekly
Police arrested editor of Jana Prahar weekly Bishnu Ghimire from his residence at Dhapasi on 4th Aug 2002 and released two days later. According to nepal Samacharpatra daily, he was released after he agreed to condemn the news report published in the earlier issue of the weekly.
Hari Prasad Regmi, Jana Bhawana and Sanghu weekly
Security personnel arrested journalist Hari Prasad Regmi associated with Jana Bhawana and Sanghu weekly on 6th Aug 2002 and was released after two days of the arrest.
Keshav Bhattarai, Saptakosi weekly
Security personnel arrested journalist Keshav Bhattarai associated with Saptkoshi weekly published from Ithari and Rajdhani daily from Taplejunj district on 23rd Aug 2002. He was detained under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act, 2001. He was released on 22nd Nov 2002 under the condition to appear on due date.
Matrika Timsina, Sthaniya weekly
Associated with Sthaniya weekly, Matrika Timsina was arrested by security personnel on 16th sep 2002 from Sankhuwasabha district. Timisna is a memebr of the CPN (UML) district committee and was also working as Principal of Himalaya Higher Secondary School. He was detained on charge of being involved with the Maoists activities. He was released on 13th Dec 2002.
Indra Giri, Nepal Samacharpatra daily
Security forces arrested reporter of Nepal Samacharpatra daily, Indra Giri, from Khandbari municipality, Pokharibazar on 6th Oct 2002. He was detained at an undisclosed location. Chief District Officer of Sankhuwasabha expressed his ignorance about his arrest. Royal Nepalese Army later said Giri was taken into custody for interrogation. He was released on 10th Oct 2002 under the condition to appear on due date.
Tikaram Sapkota and Chandra Prakash Baniya, Myagdi Sandesh
Security forces arrested editor Tikaram Sapkota and adviser Chandra Prakash Baniya of Myagdi Sandesh, published from Myagadi district, on 7th Oct 2002 on charge of writing and publishing articles sympathetic to the Maoists. They were released on the following day.
Harihar Singh Rathor, Kantipur daily
A reporter of Kantipur daily in Dailekh district, Harihar Singh Rathor, was taken into custody by security forces on 10th Nov 2002. While in detention, he was warned not to publish any news items against the activities of the security personnel and was mentally tortured. Security forces also threatened him for publishing news items related to malpractices within the security forces. He was released on the next day.
Tikaram Rai, Aparanha daily
On charge of publishing news report related to a senior police officer, police personnel took into custody editor of Aparanha daily, Tikaram Rai, on 12th dec 2002.
The daily had published a news report alleging Superintendent of Police, Basanta Kunwar, of involved in corruption while awarding driving licenses. Following the complaints by Kunwar, District Police Office of Kathmandu filed a case at the District administration Office under Public (Offence and Punishment) Act. He was released on a bail of Rs. 500.00 (US$ 7) on 14 Dec 2002.
Dinesh Chaudhari, Spacetime daily
Security forces arrested Dinesh Chaudhari, affiliated to the Spacetime daily and also other publications/news channels on 3rd Nov 2002 upon the instruction of Chief District Officer (CDO) of Jajakot district, Gehanath Bhandari. The daily had earlier published a news item entitled "Peon goes missing after CDO threatens him." He was sent to the prison with on10th Nov 2002 and was released on 12 Jan 2003.
Taranath Adhikari, Distributor
A newspaper distributor in Pokhara, Taranath Adhikari, was released on 1st April 2003. He was arrested by security forces on 8th Jan 2003 from Pokhara sub- metro municipality without any charge sheet.
Sangha Tmarakar (Sangam), Samaya weekly
Publisher of Samaya weekly, Sangh Tamrakar was released on 8th April 2003 as per the Supreme Court order. Tamrakar was arrested on 27 Nov 2001 from Putalibazar municipality, Pragatinagar, Syangja without any charge sheet. He was brought to Phulbari Bararck Pokhara through Military camp Badkhola, Syangja. He was both physically and mentally tortured while in detention. Mr. Tamrakar accused the security forces of arresting him out of prejudice.
Lok Bahadur Nepali, Chho Rolpa montlhy
Editor and publisher of Chho Rolpa weekly and member of FNJ Dolakha district, Lok Bahadur Nepali was arrested on 30th April 2002 from Baghbazar, Kathmandu. According to Nepali, he was kept blindfolded for five days and was threatened of his life. He said he had received injuries in his left ear, eyes and joints due to torture. He was reportedly arrested for his reporting.
Raju Chhetri, Rastriya Swabhiman weekly
Journalist Raju Chhetri affiliated to Rastriya Swabhiman weekly was released in the presence vice president of FNJ Badri Binod Pratik and other local journalists on 27th February 2003 and was escorted to his residence. He was arrested by security forces from Pokhara sub-municipality- Srijana Chowk around one-year back. A resident of Pumdibhumdi VDC, Kaski, Chhetri was severely beaten and was kept blindfolded as well as handcuffed for 60 days. According to Chhetri, he was arrested for his reportings and was not officially charged throughout the detention.
Prem Bastola, Blast Times
Police personnel from Harchaiya Police Post arrested journalist Prem Bastola on 6th May 2002 from his residence Harchaiya, Morang district upon the instruction of District Police office and District Administration Office of Morang and was transferred for imprisonment after 10 days of detention. He was released on 12th Aug 2002.
Tejman Biswakarma, Pratibodh Bi-monthly
Ppolice personnel took into custody publisher of Pratibodh bi-monthly magazine, Tejman Biswokarma, on 29th Jan 2002 from his residence at Dallu, Kathmandu. As a result of immense torture during detention, he is having problem in his right arm and left leg with pain in different parts of the body. He was earlier released on 12 May 2002 for the first time, on 11th Aug 2002 for second time, on 19 Nov 2002 for the third time.
Dineswar Gupta, New Jwarbhata weekly
Security forces arrested journalist Dineswar Prasad Gupta, affiliated to New Jwarbhata and Jana Astha weeklies, Jana Aawaj and Janachaso dailies on 8th Dec 2002 from Siraha Bazar without any charge sheet. He was detained at the District Police Office in Siraha. He was reportedly arrested for publishing a news report about the involvement of the police officials in corruption. He was also threatened by a Police Inspector. He was released on 13th Dec 2002.
Dekendra Raj Thapa, Nepal Samacharpatra Daily
Security forces arrested journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa in Narayan municipality, Dailekh without any charge sheet on 8th July 2002 while he was traveling to Surkhet. While in detention, he was seriously beaten in face, hand and back as well as mentally tortured and was released on the same day. He is also the coordinator of Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES), Dailekh district.
DATASHEET OF VICTIM JOURNALISTS
Arrested Journalists by the Security Forces after the imposition of
"State of Emergency" in Nepal
(26 November 2001 - 28 August 2002)
|SN||Name||Affiliation||Arrested Date||Released Date||District||Remarks|
|1||Om Sharma||Janadisha Daily||26 Nov. 2 001||8 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|2||Govinda Acharya||Janadesh Weekly||26 Nov. 2 001||16 Dec. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|3||Ishwor Chandra Gyawali||Dishabodh Monthly||26 Nov. 2 001||5 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|4||Khil Bahadur Bhandari||Janadesh Weekly||26 Nov. 2 001||4 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|5||Mana Rishi Dhital||Janadesh Weekly||26 Nov. 2 001||5 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|6||Dipendra Rokaya||Janadesh Weekly||26 Nov. 2 001||5 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|7||Dipak Mainali||Janadisha Daily||26 Nov. 2 001||4 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|8||Dipak Sapkota||Janadesh Weekly||26 Nov. 2 001||5 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|9||Nim Bahadur Budhathoki||Janadisha/ Dishabodh||25 Nov. 2 001||10 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|10||Ram Bhakta Maharjan||Janadesh Weekly||26 Nov. 2 001||4 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|11||Bisnu Khanal||Surkhet Post Weekly||27 Nov. 2001||23 June 2 002||Surkhet||Released|
|12||Liladhar Ghautam||Surkhet Post Weekly||27 Nov. 2001||23 June 2 002||Surkhet||Released|
|13||Nawaraj Shahi||Kantipur/Radio Nepal||28 Nov. 2001||28 Nov. 2 001||Jumla||Released|
|14||Sita Ram Shah||Jana Aawaj Daily||26 Nov. 2001||3 Dec. 2001||Siraha||Released|
|15||Paban Shrestha||Jana Aawaj daily||26 Nov. 2001||3 Dec. 2001||Siraha||Released|
|16||Dev Ram Yadav||Jana Aastha||13 Dec. 2001||15 Feb. 2003||Siraha||Released|
|17||Dev Kumar Yadav||Jana Aawaj Daily||10 Dec. 2001||7 Jan. 2002||Siraha||Released|
|18||Benu Ram Pradhan||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|19||Ajayaman Shrestha||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|20||Ishor Gautam||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|21||Hari Poudel||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|22||Bibek kumar Pradhan||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|23||Chudamani Prajuli||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|24||Jitendra G.C.||Janashangharsa Daily||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|25||Bharat K.C.||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|26||Kesari Pun||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|27||Kalika kharel||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|28||Mira Sharma||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|29||Narayani Sharma||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|30||Sarmila Khanal||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|31||Khuma Bhandari||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|32||Binit Gupta||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|33||Tara kharel||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|34||Himanshu Chaudhary||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|35||Harisha Dahal||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|36||Bharat Poudel||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|37||Sisir Poudel||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|38||Balkrishna Chapagai||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|39||Guna Ram Ghimire||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|40||Pigiyo Thapa||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|41||Tara Kafle||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|42||Manoj Basnet||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|43||Dhana kumar Jhosi||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|44||Tara Thapa||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|45||Surya Basnet||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|46||Rosan Thapa||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|47||Kapil Gautam||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|48||Kabi Ram Bhattarai||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|49||Hem Raj Sharma||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|50||Ram Prasad Acharya||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|51||Laxman Gyawali||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|52||Sher Bahadur K.C.||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|53||Bisnu Ghimire||4 Aug. 2002||6 Aug. 2002||Rupandehi||Released|
|54||Name not identified||29 Nov. 2001||1 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|55||Basanta Pokhrel||Mechi Kali Daily||29 Nov. 2001||17 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|56||Ganga Bista||NTV and Chautari Times||2 Dec. 2001||3 Mar. 2002||Sankhuwasabha||Released|
|57||Shankar Khanal||Spacetime /Radio Nepal||2 Dec. 2001||3 Mar. 2002||Sankhuwasabha||Released|
|58||Indra Giri||Nepal Samacharpatra||6 Sept. 2002||10 Oct. 2002||Sankhuwasabha||Released|
|59||Kumar Rawat||Mahima /Mulprabaha||2 Dec. 2001||2 Dec. 2001||Kathmandu||Released|
|60||Satya Narayan Sharma||Chankya weekly||5 Dec. 2001||6 Dec. 2001||Morang||Released|
|61||Chhiring Sherpa||Bijayapur weekly||5 Dec. 2001||20 Dec. 2001||Sunsari||Released|
|62||Anjan Kumar Himali||Janagunaso weekly||5 Dec. 2001||Lamjung||Released|
|63||Chitra Chaudhary||Yugyan Weekly||6 Dec. 2001||12 Dec. 2001||Kailali||Released|
|64||Sam Thapa||Yugyan Weekly||6 Dec. 2001||4 Apr. 2002||Kailali||Released|
|65||Biswa Prakash Lamichhane||Rastriya Swabhibhan||8 Dec. 2001||Released|
|66||Narayan Sharma Gyawali||Nayadisa daily||8 Dec. 2001||11 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|67||Gurudutta Gyawali||Center Council of FNJ||9 Dec. 2001||17 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|68||Dola Ram Ghimire||Mechi Kali daily||16 Dec. 2001||18 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|69||Madhav Ghimire||Janagunaso weekly||16 Dec. 2001||21 Dec. 2001||Lamjung||Released|
|70||Buddi Sagar Swarnakar||Janagunaso Weekly||16 Dec. 2001||21 Dec. 2001||Lamjung||Released|
|71||Siddi Charan Bhattarai||Mechi Kali Daily||17 Dec. 2001||20 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|72||Bandhu Thapa||Desantar Weekly||17 Dec. 2001||18 Dec. 2001||Kathmadu||Released|
|73||Gopal Budhathoki||Sanghu Weekly||17 Dec. 2001||18 Dec. 2001||Kathmandu||Released|
|74||Bharat Pokhrel||Mechi Kali Daily||18 Dec. 2001||18 Dec. 2001||Rupandehi||Released|
|75||Prem Bahadur Diyali||Blast Daily Dharan||21 Dec. 2001||28 Apr. 2002||Sunsari||Released|
|76||Komal Nath Baral||Swabhiman Weekly||22 Dec. 2001||8 Apr. 2003||Kaski||Released|
|77||Dinesh Shrestha||Janadesh||26 Dec. 2002||5 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|78||Bijaya Prasad Misra||Kantipur/FNJ President||27 Dec. 2001||28 Dec. 2001||Siraha||Released|
|79||Chandra Man Shrestha||Jan.adisa Daily||27 Dec. 2001||25 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|80||Badri Pd. Sharma||Baglung Weekly||26 Dec. 2001||13 Mar. 2003||Baglung||Released|
|81||Janardhan Biyogi||Swabhivan Weekly||30 Dec. 2001||19 Mar. 2003||Kaski||Released|
|82||Jhapendra Baidhya||Lisne Tri monthly||4 Jan. 2002||2 Jan. 2003||Pyuthan||Released|
|83||Sarad K.C.||BBC/Radio Nepal||5 Jan. 2002||5 Jan. 2002||Banke||Released|
|84||Kamal Misra||FNJ Member, Jhapa||7 Jan. 2002||12 Mar. 2002||Siliguri, India||Released|
|85||Hari Baral||Bijayapur Weekly||24 Dec. 2001||Sunsari||Released|
|86||Bijaya Raj Acharya||FNJ Member||9 Jan. 2002||19 Mar. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|87||Lal Prasad Sharma||Kantipur Daily||10 Jan. 2002||11 Jan. 2002||Parbat||Released|
|88||Anuradha Poudel||Spacetime Daily||19 Jan. 2002||20 Jan. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|89||Suresh Chandra Adhikari||Chure Sandesh||23 Jan. 2002||25 Feb. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|90||Posh (Bishwa) Raj Poudel||Chure Sandesh||23 Jan. 2002||25 Feb. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|91||Kishor Shrestha||Jana Aastha Weekly||29 Jan. 2002||30 Jan. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|92||Parsuram Koirala||Freelance Journalist||29 Jan. 2002||29 Jan. 2002||Kaski||Released|
|93||Prithivi Karki||FNJ Member||2 Dec. 2001||4 Jun 2002||Jhapa||Released|
|94||Ek Raj Giri||FNJ Member||20 Jan. 2002||30 Jan 2002||Jhapa||Released|
|95||Hari Charan Baniya||FNJ Member||1 Dec. 2001||24 Dec. 2001||Jhapa||Released|
|96||Nabaraj Pahadi||FNJ President||6 Feb. 2002||10 Feb. 2002||Lamjung||Released|
|97||Krishna Khanal||Dishabodh Manager||26 Feb. 2002||7 Feb. 2003||Released|
|98||Gopal Budhathoki||Sanghu Weekly||3 March 2002||16 Mar. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|99||Narayan Sharma||Yugbodha Daily||16 March 2002||16 Mar. 2002||Dang||Released|
|100||Shyam Shrestha||Mulyankan||16 March 2002||27 Mar. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|101||Chet Bahadur Sinjali||FNJ Member||21 March 2002||22 Mar. 2002||Rupandehi||Released|
|Kumar Rawat||Editor-Mahima /Mulprabaha||24 March 2002||10 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|102||Raju Chhetri||Rastriya Swaviman Weekly||7 March 2002||27 Feb. 2003||Kaski||Released|
|103||Sudarshan Raj Pandey||Utthan weekly/Terai Today||26 March 2002||5 Apr. 2002||Bhaktapur||Released|
|104||Bishwa Mani Dhital||Rastra Chakra Weekly||31 March 2002||8 Apr. 2002||Kavre||Released|
|105||Yubaraj Puri||Khabar Patrika||10 Apr. 2002||10 Apr. 2002||Sindhupalchok||Released|
|106||Chintamani Poudel||Aadarsha Samaj Daily||10 Apr. 2002||7 May 2002||Nawalparasi||Released|
|107||Muma Ram Khanal||Dishabodh||13 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Disapp.|
|108||Arjun Thapalia||Janawahan||14 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Disapp.|
|109||Suman Dhakal||Mahima FNJ Member)||25 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|110||Kedar Bhattarai||Nawa Yugbani Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|111||Prakash Avilashi||Nawa Yugbani Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|112||Sita Adhikari||Nepali Aawaj Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|113||Bala Ram Dhamala||Nepali Aawaj Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|114||Praladh Basnet||Nepali Aawaj Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|115||Raj Kumar Karki||Nepali Aawaj Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|116||Bel Bahadur Ale||Nepali Aawaj Weekly||29 Apr. 2002||29 Apr. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|117||Bhim Sapkota||Narayani Khabar Weekly||6 May 2002||23 Dec. 2002||Chitwan||Released|
|118||Bharat Sigdel||Janadisha||19 May. 2002||25 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|119||Lal Bahadur Chalaunee||Janadisha||19 May 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|120||Krishna Sen||Janadisha Daily||19 May 2002||Kathmandu||Killed|
|121||Sangita Khadka||Jan.a Aawahan Weekly||20 May 2002||21 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|122||Atindra Neupane||FNJ Member||19 May 2002||10 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|123||Shiva Tiwari||FNJ Member||19 May 2002||24 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|124||Tara Neupane||FNJ Member||23 May 2002||24 Mar. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
|125||Rewoti Sapkota||Rajdhani Daily||24 May 2002||24 May 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|126||Mina Sharma Tiwari||Eikyavaddhata Monthly||24 May 2002||5 Nov. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|127||Binod Tiwari||Eikyavaddhata Monthly||24 May 2002||24 May 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|128||Krishna Prasad Gautam||Chandeshwari Publications||1 Jun. 2002||11 Jun. 2002||Kathmandu||Released|
|129||Anil Chauhan||Dishabodh (Office Secretary)||2 June 2002||23 Jan. 2003||Kathmandu||Released|
Rabin Prasad Thapalia, Naya Ruprekha weekly
Local cadres of CPN (Maoists) rebels threatened Rabin Prasad Thapaliya, Nuwakot district of his life after he published an article criticizing Maoists activities, a day after the cease-fire. Thapaliya received warning letters from the Maoists on 10 and 30 January 2003. He had published an article on 22 September 2002 in local "Naya Ruprekha" weekly.
In a letter signed by local commander Rakshak, journalist Thapaliya was accused of undermining the Maoist activities and praising the army operations. Thapaliya was also asked to make public his apology refuting each and every word of his article. Even after the initial apology by Thapaliya, the rebels threatened him to apologize at a mass program.
Krishna Abiral, Freelance Journalist
Employees at the Land Revenue Office (LRO) in Panchthar district threatened journalist Krishna Abiral, while he was compiling a report on the alleged corruption at their office for "Good Governance" Radio Program produced by Pro- Public, an advocacy group. Few days back, two employees at the LRO, Lok Nath Bastola and Lok Raj Bhandari, had accepted of receiving Rs. 2790.00, and returned the money to concerned people at the initiation of the Tarun Dal (youth wing of the Nepali Congress party). They, however, threatened Abiral not to broadcast the news report regarding the incident.
Dipendra Chauhan, FNJ
Some members of local Mafia threatened President of FNJ Parsa section Dipendra Chauhan of his life. According to Budhabar weekly, Police Inspector Lal Babu Pande threatened Chauhan using a local mafia group led by one Mr. Maksud Khan allegedly involved in criminal activities. It was also reported that the administration didn't take seriously over complaints made by Mr. Chauhan.
Dipin Rai, Mukti Aawaj
Local Commander of CPN Maoists, Tek Bahadur Yekten, warned journalist Dipin Rai for publishing news items related to alleged Maoists atrocities. Rai is president of FNJ Jhapa section and editor of Mukti Aawaj weekly. On 25th June 2002, the weekly had published reports about the misbehaviour by Maoists rebels at the house of Janamukti Party Chairman Sarba Kumar Pauthar.
Shayam Banjara, Pratik Daily
An employee at the District Land Revenue office, Birgunj Kiran Upadhyay, threatened Shyam Banjara, editor of Prateek daily, of his life on 16 Dec 2002. Editor Banjara received threats for publishing news reports of a fire at the Land Revenue Office. On 4th Nov 2002, a junior official at the LRO offered Rs 3000.00 to Banjara. Banjara registered case under Corruption Elimination Act against the concerned official at the District Administration Office.
Narayan Prasad Poudel, Freelance
Council member of FNJ, Narayan Prasad Poudel, was manhandled and threatened of his life by a group of students from Kapilwastu Multiple Campus in Dec 2002. He said he continued to be subject to mental torture from the group. He had published a news report referring to negative impacts of the "love letter compose competition" at the Campus.
Awadhesh Kumar Jha, Rajbiraj Today
A group of Indian nationals threatened Awadhesh Kumar Jha, a reporter with Rajbiraj Today at 3rd week of Feb 2003. They briefly detained him (for nearly two hours) while he had gone to compile a news report regarding the practice of child labour at the Ram Krishna kiln at Malekhpur. He was also threatened to withdraw the case he had filed at the District Police Office.
Raghav Shah, Gramin Samachar
Executive editor of Gram Samachar published from Birgunj and a reporter of Simankan weekly, Raghav Shah, was threatened by the promoter of Gorkha and Lions Securities, Ram Nihari Pande, for publishing a news item about his alleged fake citizenship certificate in 1st week of April 2003.
Lekh Nath Bhandari, Freelance journalist
Unidentified people repeatedly threatened journalist Lekh Nath Bhandari over the phone. Bhandari had published a feature article entitled "Dream game to become Millionaire overnight" in relation to the Goldquest and other businesses on 17th Nov 2003 in Rajdhani National Daily.
Laxmi Prasad Upadhyay, Spacetime Daily
A reporter with Spacetime daily, Laxmi Prasad Upadhyay, was threatened by an official at the District Administration Office of Kailali district Gopal Man Shrestha, for publishing a news report without his prior knowledge. On 21st Aug 2002, the daily had published a news report regarding dues to a local hotel during a visit by Prime Minister Sher Bahdur Deuba.
Shiromani Ghimire and Satya Ram Parajuli
An employee at the English Language daily, The Himalayan Times, Shiromani Ghimire, was wounded in a bomb explosion planted by the CPN (Maoist) rebels in front of Patan Hospital in Lalitpur district on 17th Jan 2003. In a separate incident, the CPN (Maoist) rebels manhandled Satya Raj Parajuli, editor of Majdur Aawaj, Kathmandu.
Dhan Bahadur Rokka, Radio Nepal
The CPN (Maoist) cadres abducted a newsreader of ethnic Kham language at the Regional Broadcasting Center of the state-owned Radio Nepal, Dhan Bahadur Rokka, from Jaluke of Bhingri VDC in Pyuthan district on 1st Aug 2002 along with an official of the Gorkha Welfare Trust of the British government. Rokka was on the way to his office from his home district and was travelling by a passenger bus. Rokka’s whereabouts remaining unknown.
Rekh Raj Dahal, Pratik daily
The CPN (Maoist) rebels abducted reporter of Pratik daily, Rekh Raj Dahal, based in Sindhuli district and brutally tortured him inside the local Hatpate forest. Dahal was released later with severe injuries. Later, the rebels apologized for the incident. It was reported that he might have been targeted out of some personal grievances.
Restriction of Freedom of Movement
Dipak Bahadur Thapa, Nepal Samacharpatra
The CPN (Maoists) rebels banned Dipak Bahdur Thapa, a news reporter with the Nepal Samacharpatra daily from leaving his village, Thapsa of Darna, in the far-western district of Achham since mid November 2002. He was threatened of his life for allegedly reporting against the Maoist atrocities. They pressurized him to join their movement and also confiscated his academic certificates. UPDATE
Ishwor Joshi, Nepal television
One of the CPN (Maoist) rebels manhandled the representative of Nepal Television and BBC Nepali service, Ishwor Joshi, at Camp Chaur during a mass meeting organised by the rebels on 7 April 2003, while he was discharging his duty. He was also denied to carry out video recording of the program saying that hey had orders for the same from their superiors. Joshi is also the vice president of FNJ, Chitwan district.
Ujir Magar, Kantipur daily
Officials including legal advisor of Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen’s Organisation (GAESO), Gopal Chintan, misbehaved Ujir Magar, a reporter with Kantipur daily while he was attending a news conference organised by GAESO on 6th May 2002 and GAESO President later apologised for the incident terming it as unfortunate.
Janardan Pokhrel, Jana Ekata weekly
A reporter with Jana Ekata weekly, Janardan Pokhrel was manhandled and beaten up by security forces at the main gate of the Tribhuvan International Airport on Janaury, 2003. Pokhrel was on his way towards the Airport due to some personal task. He was manhandled and abused even after he showed his ID. Pokhrel is also a member of the FNJ Lalitpur branch.
Bhuvan Timalsina and Krishna Giri
The Jailer of Bharatpur prison, Matrika Prasad Dahal, vented his anger and misbehaved with journalists Bhuvan Timalsina and Krishna Giri on 6th Feb, 2003 when they sought permissions from him to visit the prison as part of their reporting assignments. They were carrying a letter by Chief District Officer (CDO) of Chitwan district, Ratna Kaji Bajracharya. Mr. Dahal later agreed to allow the reporters to visit the prison and asked them to come after sometime. When they reached again, he was not in his office. He later turned up at his office but abused the journalists duo. Timalsina and Giri are associated with the Synergy FM working as a Program Co-ordinator and news Co-ordinator.
According to news reports, FNJ Nuwakot President Biswamitra Khanal mahandled Dinesh Regmi, a reporter with Kantipur daily based in Nuwakot on 28th Feb, 2003. Khanal later condemned the news report and stated that he hadn’t abused Mr. Regmi.
A reporter with Rajdhani daily and local Abiyan daily, Khagendra Pant was verbally abused for news reported related to the stolen vehicles. An unruly group also attempted to harm Pant physically on 24th December 2002.
Journalists Face Restrictions
The CPN (Maoist) cadres stopped dozens of journalists from entering the Birendra International Convention Center in Kathmandu where the chief Maoist negotiator, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, and other senior Maoist leaders were to address the press for the first time (on March 29,2003) after the cease-fire in January 2003. Police personnel baton-charged a group of journalists who were trying to enter the venue by flashing their IDs. Organisers of the program later begged apology for the inconvenience.
Namaskar Shah, Janak Nepal and Bed Prasad Timilsena
Armed Police Official brutally beat up reporter Namskar Shah of Nepali Patra, Janak Nepal of Nepal Samacharpatra and freelance journalist Bed Prasad Timilsina on 11 Apri, 2003, in Nepalgunj and were detained for 15 hours. Shah was sick when he was detained. They were manhandled while they were covering a protest program against the price hike of the petroleum products.
A news reporter of Kantipur daily Kamal Panthi was brutally beaten up by a Royal Nepalese Army personnel on the allegation of violating traffic rules on 2nd, August, 2002 in Bardiya. Panthi had serious injuries on the upper part of his eyes.
Unidentified assailants brutally beat up publisher and editor of Shram Bulletin, Bijaya Bisphot, on 27 th March, 2003 at his office. They also looted the computer, fax and other items of the office. UPDATE
Senior report of the Space Ttime daily, Dipak Pandey, was brutally beaten up by a group of Police personnel of Ward Police Station, Kamalpokhari on 7th October 2002. Pande was on his way towards home from office and stopped to inquire about the fire that had engulfed a wood store around midnight. Police Inspector Sukdev Neupane and assistant Police Inspector Amrit Shrestha manhandled and beat him up alleging him of interfering into their job. He had injuries on his face, head and back. He was then taken to Bir Hospital to undertake alcohol consumption test and taken back to the Police Station without any medical treatment. He was later released and treated at the private Hospital.
Chairman of Dhuseri Community Forest User Group, Nawalparasi district, Bam Bahadur Adhikari, manhandled the reporter of Space Time daily Narayan Bhandari on 24th February 2003 for publishing a news report regarding alleged financial irregularities in his Group. According to Bhandari, four people along with Adhikari attacked him with stick and stone. He received injuries on his head and back and had to be treated at the local Primary Health Care Center.
Former member of Parliament from Ramechhap district, Kamal Sunuwar, manhandled up journalist Yagya Dhakal on 5th Oct, 2002 at Min Bhavan campus in Kathmandu during the a function organized by the Forum of CPN (UML) Ramechhap-Kahtmandu Liasion Committee. According to Dhakal, he was beaten up for publishing a news item related to alleged misuse of development fund allocated for constituencies in the district. Dhakal is editor and publisher of Purbeli Aawaj.
A group of squatters residing at Sanishare, Morang manhandled Bharat Bhattarai on 8th March, 2003 Bhattarai had published news reports in Blast Times daily published from Dharan about the collection of money from the landless people by the Landless management officials. He was taken into the Landless Squatters Resettlement Office and interrogated about the source of the news. Bhattarai is associated with Jana Astha weekly, Nepal Samacharpatra daily and Blast Times.
Two-dozen journalists manhandled
Unruly supporters of former minister Khum Bahadur Khadka mahandled over two dozen journalists at the Commission on Investigation of Abuse and Authority (CIAA) premises on 29th October, 2002.The journalists were covering interrogation of Mr. Khadka by CIAA officials on charges of corruption.
A reporter with Nepal Samacharpatra, Dipendra Kafle, was manhandled by Campus Chief Hari Krishna Shrestha of Pathivara Campus on 8th Nov, 2002. Kafle had sought information regarding the status of the fund collected from entertainment program organized on the occasion of Dipawali.
Srinkhala Offset Press
Security forces raided the Srinkhala Offset Press and arrested ten people including two journalists and eight staffs of the press on 8th May, 2002 in Kathmandu. The printing works of Nepali awaj and Nawa Yugbani weeklies was going on when they raided the press. They were released after three rounds of interrogation at the Tinkune Police Station. The security forces also confiscated some Books and press materials from the press.
Paru Offset Press
Plainclothes Policemen raided the Paru Offset Press without any charge sheet on the evening of 26th June 2002 at Dillibazar, Kathmandu. They also misbehaved with the workers and owner of the Press.
Royal Nepal Airlines
Journalists based in Nepalgunj were restricted to enter the premises of Royal Nepal Airlines during the inauguration of its regional office on 14 May,2002 They were invited to attend the ceremony but restricted to enter the premises before the program started. Police Inspector Govinda Thapalia tried to manhandle the reporters when they asked about the restrictions.
Special Court Restricts Entry to Journos
Special Court in Kathmandu restricted reporters from entering into its premises while on 26th December 2002. Registrar of the Court, Kul Parasad Sharma, informed that the journalists are not allowed to enter the court on that day during the office hour, while they were allowed to enter for limited time period on previous three days. Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma, however, said that no instructions were given to stop journalists' from entering into the court premises.
On that day, former ministers Khum Bahadur Khadka and Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, publisher of Kantipur Publications Kailash Sirohiya and a number of custom officials had appeared in the Court on various charges.
Tribhuvan International Airport
Security personnel prohibited journalists from entering the VVIP lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport during the departure of His Majesty King Gyanendra’s official visit to China on 9thJuly, 2002 saying that they had not put on the official dress. A junior official at the Royal Palace secretariat said that the journalists must wear the national dress as was mandatory to the government officials. Earlier, journalists were also restricted to enter the Airport premises while King Gyanendra was returning home upon the completion of his official visit to India.
His Majesty’s Government denied entry to the Singh Durbar premises where Prime Minister’s Office, parliament and a number of other ministries are located on the basis of the ID issued by the Department of Information. The decision was later withdrawn amid protest from the concern organizations
The security forces stopped journalists from entering into the Election Commission’s premises in the capital, Kathmandu, on 12th September 2002, the day it published the schedule of the parliamentary elections. Similarly, media personnel were again stopped at the main entrance on 28th September 2002.