By Pei Hu
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
KATHMANDU, Nepal – Gyanendra Raj Mishra, a program coordinator for Garima FM, an independent FM radio station, was shot and wounded in the town of Birguni. Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle shot and wounded Mishra while riding in Southern Nepal. Police say the attack on Mishra is the latest of a series of attacks on journalists in Nepal.
Mishra had just left work before he was attacked. He was passing by Narayani Rangashala, one of the most prominent public places in Southern Nepal. Mishra was shot in the right hand by unidentified gunmen in front of dozens of witnesses. He was rushed to the Narayani regional hospital for treatment.
Shambhu Shah, a police spokesperson said “[Mishra’s] condition is not critical and he has returned home after treatment at a hospital.”
Police say the motive behind the shooting is unclear. The attack on Mishra is the latest attack on journalists in Southern Nepal. Uma Singh, a young journalist working in Southern Nepal was brutally stabbed to death.
Thousands of people have joined in Uma Singh’s funeral procession. She had spoken about the plight of workers in south-east Nepal as well as gender and caste discrimination. In an interview last year Uma spoke about the difficulties of working as a journalist in Nepal. Last month she was killed by a group of 15 men who attacked her with knives and sharp objects. Neighbors of Uma heard the killers say, “This is for writing so much.” The perpetrators are still at large.
Nepal’s media is frequently under attack when the country was at civil war in the 1990’s. Both the Maoist and security forces attacked journalists. Though the civil war ended three years ago and Nepal became a democratic federal republic, Nepal still remains deadly for journalists. Since 2006 four have been killed.
For more information, please see:
BBC – Thousands Mourn Nepal Journalist– 13 January 2009
Reuters –Journalist Shot and Wounded in Nepal– 20 February 2009
Times of India – Democratic Nepal Still Deadly for Journalist– 19 February 2009