New York, December
22, 2008--Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's coalition government
must carry out an open, independent, and nonpartisan investigation into
Sunday's attack on Himalmedia in
The activists said they were angry with critical coverage of the Maoist-led government, which came to power in April, according to the news reports. Recent issues of Himalmedia's publications, including the Nepali Times, carried stories on "extremist behavior" by Maoists, including threats that had been made to businesses and media organizations. Today, Dahal told local reporters that his party was not directly involved in the attack, and blamed "some immoral agents" who "infiltrated" the party. Dahal promised that his government will look into the incident and prosecute those involved in the attack.
"The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has a long tradition
of harassing and attacking journalists," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's
Journalists have long been under attack in Nepal, with little or no investigation of their deaths. The country ranks eighth on CPJ's Impunity Index, a list of 13 countries where journalists are murdered on a recurring basis and governments are unable or unwilling to prosecute the killers.