Nepali journalist flees kidnapping

Journalist Shiva Oli returned to his village in Doti district, in western Nepal, on July 28, 2009, after hiding for three days following harassment for his work, according to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and other news sources. 

Six men visited Oli at his house at around 11:30 p.m. on July 25 about a news report he had written on financial irregularities of a drinking water project, Suraj Bhattarai at FNJ told CPJ by e-mail. The report was first published in the weekly newspaper Doteli Awaj on July 17, and then carried by other newspapers in the region, said Bhattarai.

At least one of the men was armed with a long knife and forced the journalist to leave with them, but he was able to escape and go into hiding, Oli told local FNJ representative Dil Bahadur Chatyal.

The journalist’s wife, Laxmi Oli, reported him missing the next day. Police arrested three men she identified as part of the group, including the chairman of the project’s construction committee, Shovan Oli, and two other men, Yogendra Deuba and Mahendra Malla, according to the FNJ. Shovan Oli is not related to the journalist.

Oli contacted his wife and police on the evening of July 26 and returned home two days later, he said. No charges were pressed against the three men, who admitted to threatening the journalist but said that they had guaranteed his safe return, the FNJ said.