Nepali artist Manish Harijan faces death threats

Posted on September 18, 2012 | No Comments

UNESCO has expressed concern at the death threats to Manish Harijan, a Nepali painter whose works are on show at one of Kathmandu’s art galleries.

“The right to freedom of expression must also apply to artistic expression. Tension that may arise between artistic creation and religious and ethical values should be openly discussed instead of becoming subject of intimidation or even death threat to the artist”, a press statement issued by UNESCO on Wednesday quoted Axel Plathe, Head of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, as saying.

He further said, “Freedom of artistic expression is guaranteed under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Freedom of expression and communication is the essential prerequisite for all artistic activities.

According to the Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist, adopted by UNESCO in 1980, Member States should see that artists are unequivocally accorded the protection provided for in this respect by international and national legislation concerning human rights.

Harijan has threatened by a group of cadres of World Hindu Federation at Siddartha Art Galley, where the exhibition is running, on Tuesday for the portrayal of Hindu deities, blending their acts and postures with the theme of western superheros.

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