-  Thursday 15 November 2018

Maoist activists attack newspaper group again

 -  RSF

23 December 2008 - Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by a new attack by supporters of the ruling Maoist party yesterday on the offices of the Himal Media press group in Kathmandu. And when the Federation of Nepalese Journalists today staged a protest against the attack, police used violence to disperse them, injuring around a dozen journalists.

"We urge the government to take particular care to safeguard press freedom," Reporters Without Borders said. "After the recent wave of attacks on the media, the Maoist party took no steps to punish those responsible. The government must guarantee the right of every voice to be heard by punishing violators and by not allowing its supporters to act with the impunity."

Around 50 Maoist party supporters took part in yesterday's attack on Himal Media, ransacking its offices and injuring CEO Ashutosh Tiwari and Kunda Dixit, the editor of one of its publications, the English-language Nepali Times.
The raid appears to have been prompted by an article in the Nepali Times and in another of the group's publications, the Nepalese-language fortnightly, Himal Khabapatrika, accusing certain Maoist party activists of "extremist behaviour," interfering in business interests and threatening the media.

A member of the Himal Media staff said the assailants stormed into the group's premises, hitting employees and warning that "anything could happen if one of the group's newspapers published anti-Maoist reports again."

Dixit said: "These people appeared to be martial arts experts, they had military training. It was an attack not just on Himal Media but on democracy and the media in particular, which the Maoists are doing everything possible to control."

Maoist activists previously attacked Himal Media distribution depots in the capital on 16 November, vandalising equipment and torching more than 1,000 copies of Himal Khabapatrika in the street outside.

Nepal's Maoist prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (also known as "Prachanda"), today promised a delegation of civil society leaders that yesterday's attack would be investigated and those responsible would be punished.

One of the delegation's leaders, former finance minister Devendra Raj Pandey, told Reporters Without Borders that the prime minister insisted that it was not Maoist policy to attack the media and that "immoral agents" had "infiltrated" the party. The prime minister expressed sadness about the incident and urged public opinion to help combat the "infiltrators."

Nepal News video showing the damage to Himal Media's offices and an interview with Kunda Dixit:

Source :RSF
© FRANCE NEPAL info

Other articles by reporter RSF




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