Sen, editor of Janadisha, a publication closely associated with the Maoist rebels, was arrested by police on May 20, 2002 under the provisions of a sweeping antiterrorism ordinance introduced in November 2001 that criminalized any contact with or support for Maoist rebels.
An initial investigation by CPJ indicated that Sen might have been targeted for his journalism. Maoists have since said that Sen was a committee member, which would have made him privy to decisions made by rebel leadership.
The editor’s arrest was widely reported in the local press. However, after news reports emerged in late June 2002 that Sen may have been killed while 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 disappearance.
Local human rights group Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC) has reported that Sen was held for approximately one week and died after being tortured at the Mahendra Police Club in Kathmandu. His body has never been found.
CPJ included Sen on lists of journalists imprisoned in 2002 and 2003 based on information available at the time. Based on subsequent research, CPJ reclassified his case in March 2005.