Nepal UN calls for murderers of media owner to be brought to

Jamim Shah, head of satellite TV station Channel Nepal and cable TV company Space Time Network, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle on a major thoroughfare in Katmandu, the capital, on 7 February, and his driver Mathuraman Malakar was seriously injured.The largest privately-owned media organization in Nepal, the Kantipur Group, said its managing director and the editors of its two dailies, Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post, have received threats by telephone and email to stop coverage of the killing. Similar threats are reported to have been received by the group that publishes the daily Himalayan Times and a sister publication in Nepali, the Annapurna Post.“I condemn the murder of Jamim Shah,” UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova said. “Mr. Shah was a key player in the development of television in Nepal which, like every country, relies on media pluralism to foster free and informed debate.“I am also deeply concerned about threats to journalists reporting on his death. I trust that the Nepalese authorities’ investigation into this crime will be successful and that those seeking to intimidate the media will be brought to justice.”Similar concern was voiced yesterday by the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal Richard Bennett.The independent Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that at least 13 journalists have been murdered in Nepal over the past decade.Throughout the years UNESCO has repeatedly drawn world attention to the murder of journalists and other media workers, warning of the serious consequences such crimes entail for democracy and the fight against crime and other abuses. 16 February 2010The murderers of a Nepalese media operator and those issuing death threats against journalists covering his death must be brought to justice in the interests of the media pluralism essential for free and informed debate, the United Nations agency entrusted with defending press freedom said today.