Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nepal: Condemnation of threats to journalists after killing of media entrepreneur

UN - United Nations human rights officials in Nepal voiced alarm today over the threats made against journalists reporting on the recent murder of the media entrepreneur Jamim Shah, stressing that freedom of expression must be upheld in the Asian nation.

Richard Bennett, the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal, issued a statement condemning the threats against editors and publishers and describing them as sending “a chill through the entire community.”

The threats follow the murder of the television channel operator Mr. Shah, who was shot dead in the capital, Kathmandu, on 7 February.

“Unfortunately violence against the media is not rare in Nepal and has been witnessed especially against journalists working in the Terai,” said Mr. Bennett, referring to the region that runs along the length of southern Nepal.

“I urge State authorities to ensure a secure environment that facilitates full enjoyment of rights of freedom of expression as guaranteed by national and international human rights law.”

Mr. Bennett's office emphasized that “freedom of expression, including freedom of the media to publish news fairly and honestly, is fundamental in a society that respects human rights and thrives alongside the rule of law and good public security.”

The independent Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that at least 13 journalists have been murdered in Nepal over the past decade.

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