Nava Raj Sharma

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Attacks on the Press   |   Nepal

Attacks on the Press 2002: Nepal

Political turmoil and an intensified Maoist insurgency severely strained Nepal's young democracy and profoundly challenged the country's independent media. In November 2001, the government, then led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, imposed a state of emergency, introduced a sweeping anti-terrorism ordinance, and called out the army to counter the mounting threat posed by Maoist rebels. Each of these actions had serious repercussions for the press in 2002. Under the state of emergency, in effect until late August, press freedom and other civil liberties were suspended. The anti-terrorism ordinance--formally known as the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance and commonly referred to as TADO--identifies the Maoist faction of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-M) as a terrorist group and allows for the arrest of anyone "in contact with" or "supportive of" the rebels. More than 100 journalists were detained during 2002 under these broad provisions, which remain in force. The government also introduced reporting guidelines, banning anything "likely to create hatred against [the] Royal Nepal Army, police, and civil servants, and lower their morale and dignity."
March 31, 2003 12:04 PM ET


Alerts   |   Nepal

CPJ condemns harassment of journalists by Maoist rebels

New York, February 28, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the recent harassment of two journalists by Maoist rebel forces in Nepal. In separate incidents, Maoist rebels have threatened journalists whose reporting criticized the "People's War."

In mid-February, reporters for the national newspaper Nepal Samacharpatra learned that their colleague Deepak Bahadur Thapa has been confined to his village, Thapsa Gaon, in the western district of Accham, for the last three months on the orders of local Maoist leaders who control the area. The Maoist leadership threatened Thapa, Accham-based correspondent for Nepal Samacharpatra, saying that he would be in danger if he attempted to leave the village, according to the newspaper's editor, Kapil Kafle. The rebels have accused Thapa of writing against the People's War, Kafle said.
February 28, 2003 12:00 PM ET


Nepal, Unconfirmed

Ambika Timsina

Timsina's corpse was found on December 12, 2002, about one kilometer (1.6 miles) from his house in eastern Nepal's Morang district, according to the Kathmandu-based Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies. His body had bullet wounds.

Timsina had worked for the pro-Maoist weekly Janadesh before going underground soon after the government declared a state of emergency in November 2001. In fall 2002, he surrendered to government security forces.

Although the motive for Timsina's murder is not clear, CPJ sources in Nepal believe he may have been killed by Maoist rebels, who suspected him of acting as an informant to the government after his surrender.

In November 2001, the government declared a state of emergency and introduced a sweeping anti-terrorism ordinance, which allows for the arrest of anyone "in contact with" or "supportive of" the Maoist faction of the Communist Party of Nepal, which the government has identified as a terrorist group. More than 100 journalists have been detained under the ordinance, including several Janadesh editors and reporters.

Maoists have also been responsible for attacks on journalists. Rebels killed newspaper editor Nava Raj Sharma in June, and later claimed that they murdered him because he was a government spy.
December 12, 2002 3:42 PM ET


Alerts   |   Nepal


New York, August 26, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the brutal murder by Maoist rebels of Nava Raj Sharma, editor of the Nepali-language weekly Kadam, published from Kalikot District in Nepal's remote Midwestern region.

News of Sharma's murder earlier this summer surfaced only last week, after a team of journalists and human rights activists organized by the government's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) visited Kalikot and other districts in the area.
August 26, 2002 12:00 PM ET


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