Kathmandu, November 22
Federation of Nepali Journalists is set to organise rallies in Kathmandu and all seven provinces on Sunday, demanding action against perpetrators of press freedom, violation and killing of mediapersons.
“The Government of Ne-pal has yet to create environment of bringing to book the perpetrators of murder of journalists and violators of the press freedom. Therefore, FNJ will organise rallies in Kathmandu and all seven provinces on Sunday to pressure the government to end the culture of impunity and violence against journalists and to ensure proper measures to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said a press release issued by the umbrella organisation of journalists today.
FNJ informed that the rallies would be part of series of programmes under ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.’ It said that as many as 37 journalists were killed in Nepal since 1996. Five journalists had been disappeared during the period.
“Of the 37 journalists, the government has done justice to only five by initiating action against the culprits. The government seems to be doing nothing for other victims and their families. In the case of five disappeared, the victim parties still await justice,” stated the release. The report showed that the persons involved in the murder of journalists were rarely brought to book, which is not a very good sign for press freedom.
FNJ warned that violation of press freedom continued in the country. As many as 63 cases of press freedom violation were reported in 2017 and 60 in 2018.
It recorded as many as 26 such cases since April of the current fiscal. Perpetrators of only a few cases of violence against press freedom and journalists have been brought to book while letting others off the hook. Most of the cases were settled through reconciliation.
Failure on the part of the government to punish the guilty even after their identification has contributed to higher instances of press freedom violation, stated FNJ.
“Though the FNJ filed a complaint with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission requesting it for serious investigation to deliver justice for the families of journalists who were killed during the conflict era, no progress has been made in this regard so far,” stated the press release issued by FNJ.
FNJ has urged the government and all concerned parties to put an end to all of forms of attacks on journalists and media, initiate action against those involved in murder and attack of journalists, make public the status of those disappeared and guarantee press freedom in the country.
A version of this article appears in print on November 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.