The body of journalist Ambika Timsina was found on 12 December near the village of Pathari, in the southeastern province of Koshi. He had been shot and beaten. The previous day, eight masked men had kidnapped him from his home, saying they wanted to "settle a few things" with him.
Noting suspicions that the kidnappers were Maoist rebels, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) called today on the rebels to stop attacking media workers and called for the killers to be arrested and tried.
Timsina, 26, who was soon to be married, had worked for the pro-Maoist weeklies Janadesh and Mahima but decided to surrender to security forces after a state of emergency was declared in November 2001. He and his father had been amnestied and Timsina wanted to continue working in the region.
Friend of Timsina said the killers may have been Maoists who suspected him of being an informer for the security forces and had punished him for supposed treachery. In August, the rebels killed Nawaraj "Basant" Sharma, founder and editor of the weekly Karnali Sandesh, in the extreme west of Nepal.
Reporters Without Borders said in a report in March on press freedom in Nepal that under the state of emergency the Maoists, who since 1996 had executed dozens of members of the ruling Congress Party and more recently human rights activists, might now target journalists they accused of collaborating with the government, especially reporters working in the provinces.