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Three journalists abducted by Maoist rebels but manage to escape

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - On 4 May 2003, Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-Maoist) rebels abducted three journalists. Sarita Aryal, publisher and editor of the Nepalgunj-based monthly "Sukhi Sansar", and Karuna Thapa and Kurma Raj Shahi, both reporters with the national daily "Nepal Samacharpatra", were taken captive in remote Kalikot district (western Nepal).

According to the daily "Kathmandu Post", the three journalists were detained from 4 to 6 May. They managed to escape from their captors on 7 May, after taking advantage of their absence, and arrived at district headquarters the same day. News reports said the rebels were discourteous towards the journalists and that they were given nothing to eat except for homemade bread and salt.

CEHURDES strongly condemned the three journalists' abduction by CPN-Maoist rebels. The organisation urged CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai, the rebels' lead negotiator in current peace talks, to see to it that all attacks against journalists and free expression activists cease immediately. CEHURDES also asked them to allow free access to their strongholds.

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