The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (Himalmedia Chapter) has issued the following statement strongly condemning the detention of co-publisher Kanak Mani Dixit on 22 April:
Himalmedia co-publisher Kanak Mani Dixit was detained on Friday afternoon from near his office in Patan Dhoka in Kathmandu on the direct orders of the Chairman of the Commission to Investigate the Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
There are several indications that this was a deliberately vengeful act by the Chairman against Mr Dixit:
- He was detained on Friday just before the courts closed to prevent being freed on bai
- He is locked up in a common jail cell for petty criminals at Gaushala Police Circle
- He was put in the cell despite having elevated blood pressure of 190/90
- He has been kept in a jail cell and not the CIAA’s own detention centre
Mr Dixit had been critical in his regular columns about the appointment of Mr Lok Man Singh Karki to head the CIAA three years ago, for which the high-level Rayamajhi Commission had accused him of being involved as Chief Secretary in crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters in the last days of King Gyanendra rule exactly 10 years ago. Mr Dixit and other pro-democracy activists had also been detained for two weeks by the royal regime at that time.
Mr Dixit was mentioned in a list put out by the CIAA in November of individuals it said were ‘under investigation for amassing disproportionate wealth’. Earlier this month, he was asked to present himself at the CIAA to which Mr Dixit had replied on Wednesday that the CIAA didn’t have jurisdiction to issue such an order, and that it went against the spirit of a Supreme Court decision in November that questioning the basis on which the accusations of financial irregularities were made against him.
We condemn this action taken by the CIAA against a journalist, a pro-democracy and human rights activist. He is being detained in inhuman conditions, and we demand an immediate end to his physical and psychological harassment. Mr Dixit should be released unconditionally forthwith.
Federation of Nepalese Journalists (Himalmedia Chapter)