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Editor receives death threat

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - On 22 March 2012, Sashi Bichitra, the Chief Editor of the "New Highway" weekly, in Parsa, a district in the central region of Nepal's southern plain, received a death threat over the telephone from an unknown person. Freedom Forum is concerned about this violation of press freedom.

According to the chief editor, an individual who claimed his name was Chaurasiya telephoned twice. The called warned Bichitra that he would be killed by 27 March for having insulted Chaurasiya three months ago while he was drinking.

The journalist explained, however, that this accusation is false. He believes the threats may be a repercussion of his reports on organised smuggling in the neighbouring Sarlahi district.

The police administration was informed about the threats and received a request to provide security for Bichitra.

District police said that as the phone number from which the call was made had been tracked, the caller would be caught soon.

The incident highlights that journalists have been made the butt of threats and attacks because of their reporting on crimes in Nepal.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident and demands that ample security be provided for the journalist who fears for his safety. Moreover, it urges the authorities to mete out punishment to the culprit to avoid the prevalence of fear among the media community.

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