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Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Maoists increase intimidation of Nepalese media

Here is an unusual story of local and international media protests against mounting Maoist terror in Nepal including the actioning of 'execution orders' against reporters in the country and the unexplained, and perhaps unrelated, murder of a Nepalese journalist in the USA.

18 August 2004: Following the brutally killing of Dekendra Raj Thapa, a Dailekh-based journalist affiliated to state-owned Radio Nepal, Nepal News reports that Maoists have issued ‘execution orders’ against ten more journalists in the country. Harihar Singh Rathour and Bed Prasad Timilsina, affiliated to Kantipur Publications, are among those targeted. According to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has killed six journalists in the last eight years and is suspected to be behind the disappearance of three more.

19 August 2004: Nepal News reports a Nepalese American Journalist Association (link in Nepalese) press release asking underground Maoists to immediately stop all human rights violations, to respect press freedom and the fundamental rights of the people.

24 August 2004: Nepal News reports a Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) statement asking the CPN (M) leadership to make clear the party’s view on press freedom within a week otherwise all the news related to the Maoists would be boycotted. The FNJ asks for immediate release of three journalists Dhan Bahadur Magar, Parek Rai and Kul Bahadur Shahi who are in Maoist captivity and urges the rebels to stop intimidation of journalists.

3 November 2004: Dallas/Fort Worth's Channel 8 reports that a convenience store employee died Monday night (1 Dec) after being shot in his South Zang Boulevard store. Keshav Lal Shrestha was found injured in the back office of the Zang Food Store about 1:20 pm with gunshot wounds to his face and stomach. A witness told police that Mr Shrestha was at the front of the store during the shooting and called home before stumbling into the back office.

4 November 2004: Nepal News reports an "unidentified group" shot and killed Keshav Lal Shrestha, a Nepali journalist living in Texas, USA. Shrestha was known as publisher and editor of Makwanpur’s oldest weekly newspaper, "Kurakani". The Federation of Nepalese Journalists and Kurakani weekly, issuing separate statements, expressed deep sorrow at the news.

5 November 2004: Nepal News reports that the CPN (M) has imposed a ban on journalists in the mid western district of Rukkum. Maoist district secretary Bishal said reporters must obtain permission of the ‘people’s government’ before traveling to any part of the district for collecting news.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is supported in the USA by the Revolutionary Communist Party, publisher of the Revolutionary Worker.

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