When they reported to work on February 1, 2005 employees of hundreds of media outlets across Nepal were confronted by a scene that was beyond the reckoning of any rational mind - their offices were under siege by uniformed gunmen. When they entered their newsrooms, there was another surprise waiting to shock them. Perched on their editors' chairs were officers of the Royal Nepal Army, while their bosses had gone hiding. It took them mere seconds to work out what happened - the army had taken over. King Gyanendra had staged a coup. Media freedom, the greatest accomplishment of the democratic system restored in 1990, had disappeared.