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Recent News
2007 ‘bloodiest’ year for S. Asian journos

Kathmandu, June 10

The year 2007 for the South Asia Media workers and journalists turned out to be the ‘bloodiest and most difficult year’, said a South Asia Media Monitor-2007 report.
A total of 25 South Asia media associate journalists and media workers were killed in different parts of the country and for different reasons, said the report launched today at the South Asia Free Media Association Nepal (SAFMA-Nepal).
Of the 25 media associate workers, 21 journalists and four media workers had lost their lives.
The report was jointly launched by the president of Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) Dharmendra Jha, chairman of the Nepal Press Council (NPI) Rajendra Dahal and chairman of SAFMA Nepal Gopal Prasad Thapaliya. The book was published by the South Asia Media Commission, which has its secretariat in Pakistan.
A total of three Nepalese journalists- Prakash Thakuri, editor and publisher and vice-president of Kanchanpur district chapter of FNJ of the Aajako Samachar Dainik, Birendra Sah of Nepal FM, Dristi Weekly and reporter of Avenues Television and Shanker Panthi of Naya Satta were murdered during the year. Thakuri has been missing since June 2007 but according to sources, he has already been killed.
As per the report, Pakistan topped the table with seven deaths followed by Sri-Lanka with six and Afganisthan with five killings in the line of duty.
It is observed that Nepali media witnessed 575 rights violation in the year 2007. FNJ has recorded five media rights violations after the declaration of republic on May 28.
The report has also identified the cause behind the violation of press freedom due to security concern and feelings of insecurity experienced from both the state or from the opposition sides.
During the Madhes Movement, there were 189 incidents of grave and small media rights violation. During this period, 35 journalists were physically attacked, five FNJ branch offices and media institutions were attacked, 49 journalists received various threats and 19 journalists fled from their work place.
The book quoted that recently the press freedom in Nepal is not secured yet. After the declaration of republic 12 editors and publishers of Kailali suspended their publication saying that they were not in the position to continue their works as the state itself failed to ensure security to media person, quoted the report.
Rajendra Dahal, chairman of the Nepal Press Institute and chairman of the South Asia Media Commission-Nepal chapter said that the report has tried to portray the comparative study of eight South Asian countries about the condition of press freedom, killings and difficulties faced by the journalists.
The journalists have been getting threatening calls from various political parties, criminal groups sometimes for exposing their deeds and sometimes for not publishing or transmitting the news, said Dahal, adding that this has resulted due to security reason and insecure feelings among the journalists.
FNJ president Jha said that the state would have an important and pivotal role in safeguarding and creating favourable environment for journalism and for the protection of journalists.
SAFMA-Nepal chairman Gopal Prasad Thapaliya said that the joint commitment and unity among the journalists living inside Nepal and abroad is compulsory to tackle the violation of press freedom and protecting individuals rights.
Pratik Pradhan, secretary of the South Asia Media Commission of Nepal chapter, said that journalists in Nepal have become a matter of low significance as in most of the conditions journalists were facing threats, were murdered and sometimes beaten up by different groups.

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