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UN call for better efforts to protect journalists in Nepal
Publication Date : 11-01-2013
Expressing serious concern about the safety of Nepali journalists, two UN agencies in Nepal—the Office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal and UNESCO—have called for better efforts and initiatives to protect the scribes.
"The emerging, horrific details of the circumstances of Dekendra Raj Thapa's death in Dailekh district in 2004 are a stark reminder of the importance of ensuring the safety of journalists in Nepal," said a statement released by the two UN agencies yesterday.
The agencies further said the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press are "prerequisites for a successful transition to peace." The said journalists are a "symbol" of the right to speak freely.
Pointing to past and present incidents of aggression against media professionals, the UN agencies said the failure of the government to bring such culprits to justice is undermining sustainable peace and the rule of law in Nepal.
The joint statement also commented on the difficulties faced by journalists working on Thapa's murder case.
"We applaud the recent decision to include Nepal in the group of five first-phase countries to roll out the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity," said the statement.
"This reflects the recognition that failure to bring perpetrators of crimes against journalists to justice leads to impunity that in turn, perpetuates the cycle of violence against media professionals.