Wednesday, 9 December 2009

[creative-radio] NEPAL: Female community radio journalist brutally attacked


From: [] On
Behalf Of Freedom Forum
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 1:16 PM
Subject: Another Female journalist Brutally Attacked

Female Journalist Brutally Attacked

Rukum-based journalist Tika Bista was seriously injured in an attack by an
unidentified group at Musikot in the mid-western part of Nepal on December
8, Tuesday. Bista is a news coordinator for a local Sisne FM in the

Bista was found unconscious with a severe head injury and cut wounds,
apparently made by a razor blade, some 20 metres below a bush. Police
recovered Bista's laptop, radio and a mobile phone in wrecked state from
the incident site. Police have suspected the assailants to have rolled
Bista down the cliff after the attack.

According to Bista's colleague Dhanbir Dahal, she had called the latter
saying three men were following her before the incident. "She sounded
terrified. I tried to call her back, but her phone was switched off,"
according to Dahal.

Bista was attacked at Mathgaun while she was on her way to the District
hospital, as she had received a call from an unidentified male who said
that her sister-in-law was admitted there.

Doctors attending to Bista at the District Hospital said her condition was
critical, though she regained consciousness in the evening, about seven
hours after the incident, according to The Kathmandu Post, a national

Journalist Bista was airlifted to Nepalgunj for further treatment but she
has not witnessed any significant improvement on her health condition
according to reports. Efforts are being made to airlift her in Kathmandu
since her situation is critical.

Last week, Bista had issued a press statement saying that some Maoist
activists have been threatening to kill her over a news story published in
a local weekly. She has been living in a disturbed situation after she was
threatened with life for the coverage of news against UCPN (Maoist). She
had also informed the police and district administration about the death
threats she had been receiving from unknown place over mobile for the last
seven days.

Terming this incident a 'brutal attack against decent journalism and
journalist's responsibility to make people informed", Freedom Forum
strongly condemns the attack on female journalist Bista for writing news
and asks the government to seriously investigate into the incident and
spell out the facts in this connection. The Forum also draws the attention
of the party concerned to respect press freedom and allow journalists to
impart information to people freely.

"Such attacks and threats to journalist promotes self-censorship which
squeezes the scope of right to freedom of expression and access to
information. The government's focused intervention is a must to avert
impunity by bringing the guilty to book at the earliest", said Freedom
Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal. He added, "The government should make
necessary arrangement for her treatment and ensure environment that
journalist could propel their profession without obstruction and threats".

For Further Information,

Krishna Sapkota
Media Officer
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu

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