CPJ condemns publisher’s arrest

New York, April 26, 2005 —The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s arrest of Dwarika Uprety, publisher of the weekly Roadmap. Plainclothes security officers detained Uprety while he was walking to work this morning in the Putalisadak district of Kathmandu, according to the Kantipur news Web site.

The editor of Roadmap, Kamal Koirala, said in a statement today that no motive was known for Uprety’s arrest.

“CPJ calls for the immediate release of Dwarika Uprety,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “The arbitrary arrests of journalists are a cynical part of this regime’s intimidation tactics against the press. We urge the government again to unconditionally release all imprisoned journalists.”

Cooper recently returned from a week-long fact finding mission to Nepal. During a press conference in Kathmandu on April 12, Cooper spoke out against the government- sponsored crackdown on the independent press. A special report featuring interviews and information from the mission will be released later this week.

Dozens of journalists have been detained since King Gyanendra’s state of emergency was declared February 1. Although most journalists are held for several days and then released, as many as ten were in detention as of mid-April, according to the Federation of Nepalese Journalists.