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Nepal 14 January 2009

Four arrested for woman journalist’s murder, while clandestine group claims responsibility

Four people have reportedly been arrested for the murder of journalist and women’s rights activist Uma Singh, who was stabbed to death in her home in the southeastern lowland city of Janakpur on 11 January.

At the same time, local news website Republica quoted state-owned Nepal TV on 12 January as reporting that an underground group had claimed responsibility for Singh’s murder but said it was done “by mistake.”

It has meanwhile emerged that death threats were made against another woman journalist in the southern Terai lowlands on the same day that Singh was killed.

The Kantipur news groups said its correspondent in the Terai district of Dhanusa, Manika Jha, was threatened on 11 January by a group of three or four people who broke the windows of her home and said she would be the next to be attacked. The eKantipur website reported that she has been assigned police protection.

“This wave of violence against Nepalese journalists requires a firm response from the government, which must assume its responsibility and adopt effective measures to protect journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said.

The Terai lowlands have seen a wave of violence since 2006, with many militant groups pressing for regional autonomy. Nepal’s newly-elected government, led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has held talks with these groups but has not managed to put an end to the violence.

In this country
30 April - Nepal
Radio station threatened by Maoists
8 February - Nepal
Nepalese media in great danger, International Press Freedom Mission finds
12 January - Nepal
Journalist and women’s rights activist brutally murdered
23 December - Nepal
Militant maoists continue their attacks against the media
2 December - Nepal
Journalist’s body found two months after he went missing, identity of murderers still unknown

in the annual report
Nepal - Annual report 2008
Nepal - Annual report 2007
Nepal - Annual report 2006

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