Om Sharma, editor of the banned pro Maoist daily Janadisha, was released from jail in Katmandu on 7 February by order of the country’s supreme court after being detained for 14 months under the state of emergency.
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) welcomed his release but deplored the fact that the security forces ignored four previous orders by the court to free him. The organisation repeated its call to the government to release 20 or so other journalists still in prison.
Sharma was arrested at the paper’s offices on 26 November 2001, the day after a national state of emergency was declared. He was held in a secret place for 26 days before being transferred with other journalists to Bhadragol prison, outside Katmandu.
Krishna Prasad Khanal, another Maoist journalist, has been freed after 15 months in jail. The authorities also released six other people on 5 February by order of the supreme court. Some local papers said four of them worked for the Maoist paper Janadesh but the Federation of Nepalese Journalists said they were not journalists.