JUNE 8, 2005
Posted: June 9, 2005
Riot police in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, arrested dozens of journalists who were protesting the government’s emergency press restrictions and proposed media law amendments that are expected to codify and stiffen those constraints. Local sources said police detained as many as 50 journalists, including the president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Bishnu Nisthuri.
Hundreds of journalists gathered at the Bhrikuti Mandap exhibition grounds in central Kathmandu for the afternoon demonstration organized by the FNJ. Activities in the exhibition grounds are restricted by the government; public demonstrations have been banned throughout the city center since the king declared a state of emergency on February 1, according to local news reports.
Police surrounded the grounds and tried to bar journalists from leaving, according to press reports. Fighting broke out when journalists tried to leave, and several were injured when baton-wielding police officers advanced and forced the journalists into police vans, according to the Press Trust of India news service. The journalists were freed the following day, according to international news reports.