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Online journalist attacked after receiving e-mail threats

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - Kathmandu, December 3 - The Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Studies (CEHURDES), a Kathmandu-based free expression monitoring group, condemns the attack and threat by unidentified persons against the online journalist and blogger Shreedeep Rayamajhi. Rayamajhi is based in Kathmandu.

According to information provided by Rayamajhi to CEHURDES, a group of persons attacked him on November 16, 2010, near Bishnumati river, central Kathmandu. He suffered a clavicle fracture in his right shoulder and sprained his ankle.

Before the attack, Rayamajhi had received e-mail threats from an unidentified sender asking him to stop writing online news. His subsequent complaints to the police did not prevent the attack.

A former journalist with the English-language daily "The Rising Nepal", Rayamajhi currently writes for CNN iReport and NowPublic, as well as for the US-based non-profit Institute of Field Research Expeditions.

It is not clear which of his writings prompted the threats and attack against him.

Even after the November 16 attack, Rayamajhi has continued to receive e-mails suggesting threats on his life. He has filed complaints and sought security from the police, human rights groups and media organizations.

For the last week he has remained confined to his house. On November 27, he said he received another e-mail threat stating that he was on a "hit list."

"My life is in risk but nobody seems bothered," Rayamajhi told CEHURDES.

CEHURDES condemns the attack on Rayamajhi and the continuing e-mail threats.

"It is of particular concern that despite his complaints, the police have been unable to identify or arrest the perpetrator(s). Such a laid-back attitude from law enforcing agencies can lead to further attacks against the media and freedom of expression campaigners," the organisation said.

CEHURDES has also called for immediate steps to guarantee Rayamajhi's safety.
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