He wrote about prostitution - he was found with his throat cut

Yadav Poudel

Killing condemned by UNESCO DG, 24 February 2012

Yadav Poudel - Nepal - Killed, 4 April 2012

Several of Nepalese journalist Yadav Poudel’s last reports had alleged that hotels in the town of Birtamod, in eastern Nepal, were being used for prostitution. 

The pieces had led to arrests at one establishment, the Punbanchal Sekuwa Corner Hotel. And it was in the yard of this very hotel that Poudel’s body was found, with his throat cut and multiple other injuries, shortly after midnight on the night of April 4th, 2012.

According to the police report, Poudel had very probably been attacked and beaten up on the roof of the three-storey building, and then thrown down to the street below. There is no watertight account of the events of the evening, but Poudel had apparently had dinner at the Punbanchal Sekuwa Corner with the owner of another hotel. The two men had discussed plans for a new publication, Ujyaalo Poorba, which Poudel intended to establish.

Until his death at the age of 40, Poudel had covered local stories for the Kathmandu-based Avenues TV, and had written for the national Rajdhani Daily and was the executive editor of the local Mechi Times in Birtamod. 

In any event, the two men’s evening had been cut short when six assailants attacked the hotel. Poudel was unable to escape.

The murder raised fears among the Nepali press corps. Journalists in the country had encountered increasing threats after a relatively quieter period. The number of killings of reporters has declined since 2006 and the end of the ten-year civil war between government forces and Maoist fighters. The majority of those earlier murders of active journalists are unresolved, but in Poudel’s case at the end of February 2013, a life sentence was handed down to a hotel-owner, and prison sentences to three other accomplices, including the owners of the Punbanchal Sekuwa Corner Hotel. No categorical motive was established, but according to the Nepal Press Freedom website, investigators had concluded that the articles Poudel wrote against the social malpractices and evils in his area “might be the root cause of his murder”. 

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This article was originally printed in the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat. The content of the article may have been modified and/or updated as information became available following the date of publication.
UNESCO encourages all media outlets to inform the public of violations of press freedom; to raise awareness of issues impacting the safety of journalists around the world; and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
The original article in Finnish can be found here.

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