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Nepal 21 March 2005

Maoists admit two year old murder of Radio Nepal presenter

Reporters Without Borders expressed its dismay after Maoists revealed they were responsible for the murder, on 30 January 2003, of Dhana Bahadur Rokka Magar, presenter for state-run Radio Nepal.

The rebels had abducted the journalist six months earlier, on 1st August 2002.

The murder of Dhana Bahadur Rokka Magar is a tragic illustration of the politics of terror that Maoists impose in the zones they control. "Even if public media journalists make themselves the sounding board of government policies, it is horrifying that they should be systematically accused of being spies and murdered like this," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

The revelation about Magar’s killing came after his widow Dil Kumari Rokka Magar told a member of Radio Nepal management in Surkhet, western Nepal on 17 March 2005 that the Maoists said they had killed her husband, during a meeting of the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (CPN-M) on 22 October 2004.

Information obtained by Reporters Without Borders suggested that Magar was killed by party armed militants on 30 January 2003 in Khawang jungle, Rukum district, western Nepal.

Magar, who presented the news on the Magar-language programme Kham, was kidnapped by the Maoists on 1st August 2002, when the rebels stopped the bus he was travelling in from Jaluke region to Surkhet. They told the journalist to get off the bus and go with them after which nothing further had been heard of him.

The Maoists had on 16 August 2004 admitted to the murder of another Radio Nepal reporter, Dekendra Raj Thapa. After this, Maoist leader, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, apologised for the killing of the journalist in a letter sent on 11 September to the leadership of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ).

The Maoist leader also announced that he had instructed all Maoist groups to release kidnapped journalists. However the CPN-M is still holding one journalist. Kul Bahadur Malla, correspondent in western Nepal of the newspaper Karnali Sandesh. He was abducted in June 2003.

Comrade Prachanda, leader of the CPN-M, is listed by Reporters Without Borders as one of the "predators" of press freedom.




In this country
30 April - Nepal
Radio station threatened by Maoists
8 February - Nepal
Nepalese media in great danger, International Press Freedom Mission finds
14 January - Nepal
Four arrested for woman journalist’s murder, while clandestine group claims responsibility
12 January - Nepal
Journalist and women’s rights activist brutally murdered
23 December - Nepal
Militant maoists continue their attacks against the media

in the annual report
Nepal - Annual report 2008
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Nepal - Annual report 2006

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