Nepal 'media under Maoist attack'

Ruling party accused of abetting attack on media company.

    The Maoists took power this year after a
    decade of civil war [AFP]

    "This time, our cover story was on labour - how activities of the Maoists affiliated labour unions have been giving unions a bad name. I think the main reason for the attack was this story," Rameshwor Bohara, a journalist, said.

    Political analysts say the Maoists have been using their affiliated trade unions to exert control over industries, and are now trying the same technique with the media.

    Some companies have been forcefully shut for months from trade union pressure.

    'More brazen'

    Last month Maoists attacked Himal Media and burnt 5000 copies of one of their magazines. No one has been charged with the attack as yet.

    Subina Shrestha, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kathmandu, said: "Now the Maosits are being more brazen, coming in broad daylight and not only vandalizing property but also physically abusing journalists."

    Accusations are flowing from the Maoists opponents: "I will not say that the top leaders have been encouraging them but they have been protected by the top leaders of the Maoist party," Madhav Kumar Nepal, of the Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist Leninist, said.

    Concerns are also being voiced about the impunity with which attacks are occurring.

    "We've had guarantees from the prime minster that this government would respect freedom of expression and particularly freedom of the media and we'd expect to see that happen," Martin Logan, a spoklesman at the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights, said.

    Maoist rebels had fought a decade-long civil war against the monarchy before deposing the monarchy and eventually forming a government.

    More than 12,000 people died during the war.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.