Maheshwar Pahari

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Imprisoned reporter Pahari died after being denied proper medical
treatment by authorities. Pahari, 30, who worked for the weekly Rastriya Swabhiman, died
of multiple illnesses in a hospital in Pokhara, 80 miles (130
kilometers) northwest of Kathmandu, according to local journalist

Local doctors had recommended Pahari be transferred to
Kathmandu for better treatment, and members of the Federation of
Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) in Pokhara offered to pay to send him, the
FNJ said. But officials refused, citing security concerns. He was
provided treatment at the local hospital only after repeated appeals by
his wife, Durga Pahari, local journalists told CPJ.

Pahari was detained by security forces in the village of Khorako Mukh,
in western Nepal’s Kaski district on January 2, 2004. He was held
incommunicado for several months. Local journalists believe that his
detention was linked to his journalistic work. Pahari maintained close
contacts in the Maoist rebel movement, and some sources told CPJ that
security forces might have detained him to gather information about the
leadership of the insurgency against King Gyanendra.

Pahari was held under an anti-terrorism law that has been used to jail
journalists since it was introduced in November 2001. Authorities
released and re-arrested him four times after January 2004 in order to
comply with that law, which limits detention without trial to six
months. In May, he was released from a Kaski jail and arrested before
he could leave the compound, local human rights and media advocacy
groups reported.