5 journalists killed in past 7 months in Nepal

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Kathmandu
May 09, 2004 08:14 PM IST

At least five journalists have been killed and many others detained, and displaced from their homes, in the past seven months, said a media rights group.

At least five journalists have been killed and several others detained, threatened and displaced from their homes, while still others have disappeared in the past seven months, a media rights group said today.

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The Federation of Nepalese Journalists, an umbrella body of media rights groups, said two journalists were killed by the Maoist rebels while three were killed by the government side since fighting that has followed the collapse of peace talks in August.

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An additional 68 journalists were detained during the same period for questioning, some of them held for months while 31 were reported to have been abused or even tortured by the authorities.

"The freedom and rights of press and journalists has been curtailed in Nepal," said Bishnu Nisthuri, general secretary of the Federation. "We are being targeted and harassed by both sides of the conflict."

Journalists in Nepal have faced increasing threats from both government troops and rebels since fighting resumed.

The rebels have targeted journalists for writing articles critical of the insurgency and driven them out of their homes. At least six journalists have been reported missing without a trace in the past seven months, among 12 who disappeared in the past two years.

The three journalists killed by government troops were believed to have close links with the rebels and had written articles in pro-rebel publications.

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