Nepal's PM angered by arrests in journalist murder case
IPI concerned at implications of reaction for culture of impunity
By: Siromani Dhungana, Communication/Outreach Officer, IPI Nepal Chapter
KATHMANDU, Jan 9, 2013 - Nepal's prime minister Baburam Bhattarai has reportedly expressed anger over the arrests of individuals allegedly involved in the 2004 murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa in Dailekh, in mid-western Nepal.
At an event organised in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, on Jan 8, PM Bhattarai stated that the government did not support the arrests.
In fact, Bhattarai condemned the arrests of the accused - five Maoist cadres - eight years after the murder of journalist Thapa, saying it was part of a plot to derail the peace process by reviving the cases that occurred during the time of conflict. The prime minister reportedly blamed human rights activists for putting pressure on police to make the arrests.
On Jan. 4, Dailekh district police arrested five individuals, all belonging to the then-Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), suspected to have been involved in the 2004 abduction and subsequent killing of Radio Nepal reported Dekendra Thapa. One of the suspects has reportedly admitted to burying the journalist alive after he had been beaten until he was unconscious in the office of the Dwari Village Development Committee in Dailekh.
The IPI Nepal National Committee condemned the statement by Nepal’s prime minister, considering it a promotion of impunity by the government itself, the very institution charged with ensuring respect for the rule of law in the country.
IPI Nepal National Committee Chairman Padma Singh Karki noted that justice cannot be ensured when the prime minister himself appears to protect criminals: "Prosecution should not be stopped, as this will promote the culture of impunity."
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IPI Nepal Chapter