FNJ takes exception to CIAA detention of DixitThe Federation of Nepali Journalists has raised doubts over the investigation process launched by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority against journalist and Sajha Yatayat Chairman Kanak Mani Dixit.
The Federation of Nepali Journalists has raised doubts over the investigation process launched by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority against journalist and Sajha Yatayat Chairman Kanak Mani Dixit.
Dixit was taken into custody on Friday for allegedly amassing illegal property. In a statement on Tuesday, FNJ General Secretary Dhruba Lamsal said the umbrella body of Nepali journalists had been keeping tabs on the action.
“The series of events in this episode—the arrest of Dixit, subsequent action, the delay in initiating the judicial process, and the attempt by the investigating body to accuse the entire press fraternity—shows the investigation process is not ordinary,” read the statement.
The International Federation of Journalists, in a statement on Saturday, condemned the arrest and demanded immediate release of Dixit and a fair investigation process on charges against him.
“The arrest of Kanak Mani Dixit raises serious concerns for the statement of freedom of expression in Nepal. The circumstances of Dixit’s arrest are questionable, raising questions about proper judicial procedure. The IFJ urges the government of Nepal to immediately release Dixit and conduct a transparent investigation into the arrest and the CIAA’s allegations,” read the statement.
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and the World Editors Forum expressed serious concerns about Dixit’s detention. The association, which represents 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, said in a statement that the anti-graft body misused it power to intimidate the Himalmedia co-publisher. “We respectfully call on you to take all possible steps to ensure that the detention order is immediately rescinded and that the CIAA investigation is halted. Given the personal nature of this action, we urge you to appoint an independent inquiry into the conduct of the CIAA and its investigation,” read a memorandum forwarded to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
Two dozen civil society leaders and professionals demanded Dixit’s release, arguing that his detention was a vengeful act against him. They said the CIAA inflicted serious damage to Dixit’s reputation as a civil society leader and journalist.
Advocates Baburam Giri, Om Aryal and Ashikram Karki, rights defenders Gopal Krishna Shiwakoti, Bhawani Kharel and Bikash Basnet, and Madhes Civil Society President Ganesh Mandal are among those who signed the statement on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, former President Ram Baran Yadav visited Bir Hospital to meet Dixit, who has been undergoing treatment under the CIAA’s custody for high blood pressure. The duo talked for around 20 minutes.