Tiwari, executive editor of the daily Janadisha, and Sigdel, a reporter for Janadisha, were arrested on May 19, according to sources close to the paper. The next day, police arrested Sen, editor of Janadisha and former editor of the weekly Janadesh; Neupane, a reporter for Janadisha; and Khadka, a reporter for the weekly Jana Ahwan. The journalists, all of whom worked for publications closely associated with the Maoist rebels, were detained under the provisions of a sweeping anti-terrorism ordinance introduced in November 2001 that criminalized any contact with or support for Maoist rebels.
The journalists’ arrests were widely reported in the local press. However, after news reports emerged in late June 2002 that Sen may have been killed in police custody, a government-appointed commission said it found no evidence that he had ever been detained. Officials have since denied responsibility for Sen’s fate. Because Sen’s body has not been recovered and no credible investigation has been undertaken to determine his status, CPJ holds the government accountable for his fate.
At the end of 2002, Tiwari was imprisoned at Bhadra Bandi Jail, Sigdel and Neupane were imprisoned at Central Jail, and Khadka was imprisoned at the Women’s Jail–all in the capital, Kathmandu.