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Radio journalist assaulted by police officer; two journalists harassed, briefly detained by Indian border guards

(FNJ/IFEX) - At 4:30 a.m. (local time) on 8 June 2008, Deependra Kunwar, a news correspondent for the Communication Corner radio production company, was assaulted and seriously injured by police personnel in Anamnagar, a central area of the capital, Kathmandu.

According to Milan Timilsina, the president of the FNJ's Anamnagar chapter, Kunwar was assaulted by police inspector Sunil Thapa for no apparent reason. Thapa, who knew that Kunwar was a journalist, attacked him when he was on his way to his office. The reason for the assault is unknown.

The FNJ condemns the incident, noting that it is shameful that authorities whose responsibility it is to provide security to citizens would perpetrate such an attack. The FNJ insists that the government and other concerned parties take immediate action against those responsible for the attack and calls for compensation for the victim. The organisation also calls for such actions against media personnel to be stopped.

In a separate incident, on 9 June 2008, Krishna Kumar Yesmali, the president of the FNJ's Sarlahi chapter and a news correspondent for Sagarmatha Television, and Rambabu Khadka, a district correspondent for Image Channel and Communication Corner, were mistreated and captured by India's Border Guarding Force (BGF) at the Sonbarsha border crossing between Nepal and India.

Narayan Prasad Adhikari, the FNJ's Sarlahi chapter secretary, said that the BGF detained the two journalists for an hour while they were taking pictures of the border area from the Nepali side of the border. BGF personnel also damaged Khadka's video cassette.

The FNJ condemns the actions taken against the journalists, saying they constitute a direct violation of Nepal's sovereignty by the Indian police. Nepali journalists have the right to cover the news in their own country and no one from another country can interfere with their professional rights. The FNJ insists that these types of actions not be repeated in the future.

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