Journalist murdered in eastern Nepal

New York, April 4, 2012–Police in eastern Nepal must fully investigate Tuesday night’s murder of a TV and newspaper reporter and determine whether the motive was related to his journalism, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

Yadav Poudel, who covered local news for the Kathmandu-based Avenues TV, the national Rajdhani Daily, and the local Mechi Times, was found dead near a hotel in the Jhapa District of eastern Nepal late Tuesday, according to KC Poshan, an adviser to the Federation of Nepali Journalists. Initial news reports said Poudel’s throat appeared to have been slit, but the English-language daily Republica reported that doctors who conducted the autopsy on Wednesday said he had likely been beaten and thrown from the hotel roof.

The federation sent a delegation to Jhapa to investigate the circumstances, KC Poshan told CPJ. Police told local journalists they were questioning several people in relation to the attack, including the hotel owners, news reports said. Several of Poudel’s reports had alleged that hotels in the area were involved in prostitution, according to Republica.

“We are saddened to hear of the brutal killing of Yadav Poudel and send our condolences to his family and colleagues,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “Police must work quickly and immediately to ensure they identify the motive of this murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Authorities have a poor record of investigating journalist killings, according to CPJ research. Nepal ranks seventh on CPJ’s global Impunity Index, which calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.