Kathmandu, April 11:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the government to stop targeting journalists and uphold their rights to work in an environment free from violence. It has also demanded the release of all journalists in government detention.

The IFJ’s response comes at a time when around a hundred journalists have been arrested and 24 brutally attacked in the last five days. “The IFJ is seriously concerned at the significant escalation in violent attacks on journalists and the media in Nepal over the past few days,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren in a statement today. “The blatant disregard with with the Nepalese authorities are treating the media is abhorrent,” it said.

The police and the RNA have systematically targeted journalists and media persons covering the protests, resulting in mass arrest of media persons and multiple incidents of journalists being brutally attacked by security men. “We are sickened at the beatings and assaults on our colleagues by the RNA and police,” said Warren.

The IFJ urged the authorities to recognise media’s role in covering the protests. “The imposition of the curfew means it is more important than ever that journalists be given the right to free movement to enable them to report fully on these momentous days for Nepal,” the statement said.

It further said the treatment of the media and journalists as enemies instead of independent observers is “unacceptable.”