From The Nepali Press
DR Pant in Kantipur, 1 July
FROM ISSUE #255 (08 JULY 2005 - 14 JULY 2005) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Everyday journalists in the far west of Nepal are being menaced by Maoists. Reporters who covered the slaughter of the six wives and relatives of policemen including a year-old baby last month in Kailali have been threatened with death. A week before, reporter Bikram Giri had been released after being abducted for a week. His crime was that he went to Kalapani on a reporting assignment. A dozen journalists from this region have been forced to flee their towns because of Maoists threats. Other journalists are caught in the middle. The Maoists put pressure on them for not filing their statements, while the state regards all reporters as Maoist sympathisers. Two reporters from Achham can't go home because one was threatened by the Maoists and the other by the army. A reporter from Bajura was beaten mercilessly by soldiers. The situation has grown much worse since February First. Khem Bhandari of Kanchanpur was tortured by security forces, in Dadeldhura, this columnist himself was jailed for two months, Binod Thapa in Achham has been threatened. Across the far west, journalists have had to file stories secretly and are constantly under surveillance. Only six newspapers in Mahendranagar still survive but barely because of the administration's pressures.