Media associations and organisations across Nepal have expressed outrage against frequent attacks on the fraternity including murders of two prominent media barons in the past one month.
Editors of 13 important Nepali and English newspapers condemned the attacks in a statement carried prominently in their publications on Wednesday under the heading ‘Violence can’t deter the pen’.
Blaming the government for its “insensitive passivity” towards the attacks, they pledged never to surrender press freedom “whatever the circumstances”. Most papers like Republica and The Himalayan Times also carried editorials on the state of affairs.
In special editorials carried on the front pages, The Kathmandu Post and its sister publication Kantipur urged Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to “either get a handle over the security situation or quit”.
Media associations like Federation of Nepali Journalists and Nepal Media Society too organized sit-ins outside the home ministry and issued statements demanding immediate action against culprits.
“Journalists must be able to carry out professional journalism in a safe environment,” stated a release issued by Nepal unit of UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
On Monday, Arun Singhania (50), proprietor of Janakpur Today, a Nepali newspaper and Radio Today, a FM radio station was shot dead in Janakpur by motorcycle-borne assailants.
The incident came less than a month after Jamim Shah (47), owner of Nepal Television and the country’s first cable television network was shot dead in a similar manner in Kathmandu.
Editors and owners of several other media houses in Nepal have received death threats over the past few weeks, but the government has failed to take any effective action to instill confidence among the fraternity.