|update - August 22 2001
On 17 August 2001, the Nepalese government announces that the sedition charges against the editor and three executives of the daily Kantipur had been withdrawn. Information minister said, "the government wants to develop a relationship of confidence with the media and has no intention of curtailing press freedom."
June 18 2001
On 15 June, the three journalists of Kantipur Daily were released on bail. Yuvraj Ghimire, editor-in-chief, regretted that the court did not dismiss the case against them and stated that he would continue to fight to prove their innocence. "Our victory will be a victory for press freedom," he declared outside the court after the hearing.
Four days earlier, more than three hundred journalists and foreign press correspondents had demonstrated in the Nepalese capital to protest against the detention of their colleagues.
June 12 2001
The court heard testimony from the three journalists on Tuesday 12 June. It declared that they would stay in jail until Friday 15 June, date when the government would have to file formal charges.
June 7 - 2001
Three journalists arrested
In a letter addressed today to the Nepalese Minister of Information and Communication, Shiva Raj Joshi, Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders RSF) protested against the arrest of Yubraj Ghimire, Hemraj Gyawali and Kailash Sirohiya, respectively editor, publisher and managing director of the Nepalese daily Kantipur Daily. The organisation also called for the immediate release of the three journalists and the withdrawal of the charges against them. "Despite of the climate of tension which prevails presently in Nepal, the Nepalese government has to respect the constitution of the country that guarantees press freedom" Robert Ménard, general secretary of the organisation, underlined. The organisation also asked for the release of the journalist Amar Budha, the last journalist presently detained in Nepal.
According to the information collected by RSF, Yubraj Ghimire, Hemraj Gyawali and Kailash Sirohiya, respectively editor, publisher and managing director of the Nepalese daily Kantipur Daily (which also publishes an edition in English : Kathmandu Post) were arrested on 6 June 2001 in the office building of the daily in Kathmandu. They were driven to the Hanuman Dhoka police station in an unmarked vehicle. The three journalists have been charged with "treason against the monarchy" for having published in the Opinion page of the Kantipur Daily an article written by Barburam Bhattarai, one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), in which he rejected the newly crowned king, Gayendra, describing him as a "puppet of Indian expansionist forces". The journalists face until three years of imprisonment.
Presently a journalist is still in jail in Nepal : Amar Budha of the weekly Yojana has been detained in Sindhulimadi since 9 April 1999. Otherwise, Milan Nepali, who contributed to the weekly Janadesh and was also managing editor of the journal Disabodh, was arrested by police in Kathmandu on 21 June 1999. Since then his family has had no news of him. Milan Nepali had previously been arrested in 1996 and 1997. All two journalists were suspected of supporting the Maoist guerrillas. The weeklies for which they worked virulently criticised the government. Police tried to stop distribution of the publications in the areas controlled by the guerrilla, and repeatedly raided their offices.