Prakash Singh Thakuri

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Armed men believed to be associated with Nepal’s Maoist
party abducted freelance reporter Thakuri from his home in Mahendranagar, a city in Kanchanpur district, at around
10 a.m., on July 5, 2007. The journalist’s body was not recovered, but local
police later classified the investigation as a murder case.

Thakuri edited and published the royalist newspaper Aajako Samachar until the king was
forced to cede control of the government in April 2006 after weeks of
pro-democracy demonstrations. He was also a prominent member of the royalist
National Journalists Federation, local newspapers reported.

Three days after Thakuri was abducted, a previously unknown group
calling itself the National Republican Army Nepal claimed in an email that it
had killed the journalist for circulating “propaganda in support of the
monarchy,” according to news reports. Police were unable to verify the origin
of the email, which lacked details such as the time and place of the murder, news
reports said. CPJ classified the case as missing until March 2012, after it conducted a fact-finding mission to Nepal.

Thakuri’s wife, Janaki, identified three members of the
Maoist’s notoriously aggressive youth branch, the Young Communist League, as being
part of the group responsible the kidnapping, news reports said.

The Maoist party signed a peace agreement in November 2006.
After it joined the coalition government as the Unified Communist Party of
Nepal (Maoist), leaders stopped the investigation of the three men in
2009, arguing that the 2006 peace accord precluded prosecution for political
crimes, according to the local press freedom group Freedom Forum. In 2011,
Nepal’s Supreme Court reinstated the case, ruling that the accord applied only to
crimes committed before November 2006. The murder case remains open in a
Kanchanpur court.