Journalists attacked, media offices vandalized in Nepal

Assailants stormed the premises of Nepal Republic Media, a media company in the capital, Kathmandu, on December 20, 2012, attacking journalists and vandalizing the offices, according to news reports. Police arrested several of the attackers, who have identified themselves as members and supporters of the rightwing Shiv Sena Nepal party.

The assailants entered the offices of the Nepal Republic Media, chanting “Long live Shiv Sena Nepal,” news reports said. Nepal Republic Media publishes the Nagarik and Republica dailies and Shukrabar weekly. The attackers beat Kishor Nepal, editor of Nagarik and Shukrabar, and reporters Sudarshan Sapkota, Bishwo Mani Subedi, and Rajendra Gyawali, news reports said. The assailants also cut telephone wires and broke several windows, news reports said. Much of the incident was caught on CCTV.

News accounts reported that the attackers were angered by unspecified photos published in Shukrabar that they deemed offensive and sexually explicit, but Nepal told the Kathmandu Post he believed the attack was in reprisal for a story published that day in Shukrabar that alleged misuse of property belonging to the late King Birendra Shah.

Nagarik, Republica, and Shukrabar have been able to continue publishing.

News accounts reported that police arrested several attackers, including Madhav Prasad Bhandari, general secretary of the Shiv Sena Nepal party. Police officials said they are investigating the attack and will detain the assailants for a week before deciding what charges to file against them, the reports said.