Press Freedom /Freedom of Expression endangered in Nepal

 Dailekh Nepal, January 24, 2013: Journalists of Dailekh have been warned by the youth wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist, Young Communist League(YCL) to be killed and suffered just like Dekendra Thapa’s who was killed in 2004.

Dekendra Thapa was a radio journalist who worked for Radio Nepal, was abducted by the Maoists rebels in June 26, 2004 from Dailekh. The Maoists tortured him in captivity for more than a month before they finally killed him on August 11. His body was found buried in a jungle near Dwari VDC after four years in 2008.

According to CPJ, “Maoists abducted Thapa on June 26, and a rebel commander said on August 16 that they had executed him on August 11. Maoist rebels posted leaflets in Thapa’s hometown in Dailekh on August 17 "charging" him with 10 counts of crimes against what the rebels refer to as their "people’s regime." Among other accusations, the rebels accused Thapa of spying for state security forces while using his profession as a cover.”

Kanitpur publication one of the National Daily had reported , “ Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has vented his ire over the arrests of those accused in the 2004 murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa in Dailekh. He condemned the arrests of the accused—five Maoist cadres—eight years after the murder of journalist Thapa, saying it was part of the plot to derail the peace process by reviving the cases that occurred during the conflict period. He said the human rights activists provoked the police to make the arrests. Sources confirmed that Prime Minister Bhattarai had ordered through the Inspector General of Police (IGP) not to produce the accused before the court saying that decision will be taken regarding the case by this afternoon. Police made preparations to produce the accused before the court at about 10 am as their judicial custody ends today. Police has not recorded statements from the accused for two days in the direction of the prime minister.

Following the issue huge protest has been happening in the capital as well as in Dailkhe to bring the culprits by the book.  In protest of the agitation of the journalists, hundreds of YCL cadres staged a rally with weapons along Dailekh streets, showing power and terrorizing the locals. The group was reported of vandalizing the office of Tesro Aankha Daily, attacked the District Administration Office and warned the journalists of killing them like Dekendra Thapa.

In a recent case UCPN (Maoist) party had protected lawmaker Balkrishna Dhungel, who had received life term penalty from the Supreme Court, in connection of killing Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunga  during  the insurgency period in Nepal.

From past 17 months the Maoist led government has been leading the country trying to find a solution to give political stability but with hidden skeleton and shadows of killing the innocent, the Maoist led government has no way of running. The past path of terrorism that the UCPN followed has been haunting the government in one or the other form where the lack of vision and leadership impedes them in their every step.