MARCH 16, 2005
Posted: March 17, 2005

Narayan Wagle, Kantipur
Police delivered a letter to Wagle, editor of Kantipur, Nepal’s largest daily, ordering him to present himself at the criminal investigation branch of the Kathmandu police office on the morning of March 17. Wagle told CPJ that he has been asked for “clarification” of news published earlier in the week.

The police order did not specify which news item led to the summons. Sources speculated that the order was linked to the newspaper’s March 15 coverage of banned pro-democracy protests the day before. The daily’s extensive coverage included a photo of Bal Bahadur Rai, the elderly former acting prime minister who was arrested during the demonstrations.

Editors of five Kathmandu weeklies were previously summoned to the District Administration Office after they ran blank editorial pages to protest censorship.

The Federation of Nepalese Journalists has called for the government to restore press freedom and to end censorship, harassment, and arrests of journalists. Hundreds of radio journalists across the country have lost their jobs, and many newspapers have been forced to stop publishing since King Gyanendra announced a state of emergency and curtailed press freedom last month.