Media figures call for release of Himal Editor Kanak Mani Dixit

Kanak 03

Kanak being arrested at a pro-democracy rally in Nepal, 2006. Photo by Shehab Uddin

Press Statement: media figures call for release of Himal Editor Kanak Mani Dixit

New Delhi, April 23 — Editors and media figures as well as intellectuals and scholars from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, UK, US, Australia and Sri Lanka have called for the release of Himal editor and prominent Nepali journalist Kanak Mani Dixit who was arrested yesterday in Katmandu by anti-graft officials.

The following is the text of the statement:

It is with deep concern that we have learned of the arrest today of Kanak Mani Dixit, the widely respected founder-editor of Himal Media and a courageous voice for transparency, freedom of expression and democratic rights in Nepal and across South Asia. The charges are related to alleged corruption but Kanak Dixit says it is part of a vendetta pursued against him by people in Government.

We have known Kanak Dixit as a true professional, human rights defender and energetic journalist whose credentials are built on robust research and tremendous courage. Himal Media, a pioneer in South Asia journalism, has published Himal South Asia, Nepali Times and Himal Khabar Patrika (in the Nepali language). He has written extensively for international media including leading newspapers in India and is chairman of Sajha Yatayat, a state run transportation company, which he has been turning around from a loss-making entity.

Kanak Dixit’s detention comes at a time of increased pressure on free media across South Asia. We call upon all national and international media organisations, individual journalists and editors, defenders of media under pressure, on those who believe in the freedom of expression, to seek Kanak Dixit’s immediate release and a fair and transparent trial, free of bias.

We call upon the Government of Nepal to issue a transparent and unequivocal statement on his detention for we are deeply concerned about his safety and rights. We condemn all forms of pressure tactics on editors like him and other courageous media figures such as Mahfuz Anam of the Daily Star in Dhaka, who is facing over 80 cases of sedition and libel in Bangladeshi courts, and other media persons who are committed to the rule of law and justice.

Kanak at Azadi Gali 2007

Kanak Mani Dixit: in solidarity with Pakistani journalists at Azadi Gali, Karachi, November 2007. Photo: Beena Sarwar

  • Sanjoy Narayan, Editor, The Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Rajdeep Sardesai, Chief Editor, India Today TV Group, New Delhi
  • Siddharth Varadarajan, Founder Editor, The Wire, New Delhi
  • TN Ninan, Chairman, Business Standard Pvt Ltd, New Delhi
  • James Astill, Political Editor, The Economist
  • Maja Daruwala, Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi
  • Sevanti Ninan, editor, The Hoot, New Delhi
  • Salil Tripathi, Journalist and Author, London
  • Imtiaz Ahmed, Executive Director, RCSS, Colombo
  • Mahfuz Anam, Editor, The Daily Star, Dhaka
  • Sara Hossein, Lawyer, Bangladesh Supreme Court
  • Zafar Sobhan, Editor, Dhaka Tribune
  • Afsan Chowdhury, Senior Journalist, Bangladesh
  • Dr. Naila Zaman Khan, Professor of Child Neurology and Development, Bangladesh
  • Lubna Mariam, Cultural activist, Bangladesh
  • Kalpana Sharma, independent journalist, Mumbai
  • Sanjib Baruah, Professor of Political Studies, Bard College, New York, US
  • Bina D’Costa, Australian National University
  • Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Free Press
  • Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times
  • Seema Mustafa, Editor, The Citizen, New Delhi
  • Lalita Panicker, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Laxmi Murthy, Consulting Editor, Himal Southasian
  • Seema Guha, senior journalist (freelance), New Delhi
  • Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, The Wire, New Delhi
  • Aruni Kashyap, Writer and Asst Professor of English, Ashoka University, Haryana
  • Dr. Xonzoi Barbora, TISS, Guwahati
  • Dr. Sanjeeb Kakoty, Associate Professor, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Management Shillong
  • Dr. Anjuman Ara Begum, Forum-Asia, Katnmandu
  • Sanjoy Hazarika, independent columnist, New Delhi
  • Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai
  • Beena Sarwar, journalist, Karachi / Cambridge MA
  • Nalaka Gunawardene, columnist, Ravaya newspaper, Sri Lanka
  • Urvashi Butalia, founder, Zubaan Books, New Delhi

Please use extensively — those who wish to can sign on by copy-pasting and circulating, putting your name at END of list

2 Responses

  1. YOU all may know that, Kanak Mani Dixit was arrested not as a journalist, as a Chairman of Saja Sahakari Ltd., a government funding cooperative. So, First you all know detail about the case of Dixit. Don’t link this arrest to Dixit with Journalist and media freedom.


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