JUNE 9, 2005
Posted: June 15, 2005

Guru Prasad Gautum, Federation of Nepalese Journalists
Several journalists

Several Nepalese journalists were injured, at least one seriously, as police clashed with reporters and photographers demonstrating against government media restrictions and detentions in protests across the country, according to local news reports.

Guru Prasad Gautum, secretary of a local chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, was hospitalized after police beat him severely in the stomach during a protest in Kailaya, a town in the Bara district, south of the Kathmandu Valley, according to news reports. At least eight other journalists were injured when police baton-charged the rally, which was organized to protest this week’s detention of more than 50 journalists in the capital, Kathmandu, according to local news reports.

In the town of Butwal in western Nepal, police briefly detained another nine journalists, including FNJ Rupandehi district secretary Deepak Gyawali, who were also protesting the detention of their colleagues in Kathmandu, according to CPJ sources. Six journalists were hurt when police used their batons to round up protesters, journalist Dilip Bhattarai told CPJ from Butwal.

The journalists in Kathmandu were released from police custody on June 9. They had been detained while protesting the government’s proposals to codify emergency press restrictions by amending the media law.