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"Public Eye" reporter harassed at rally

(MISA/IFEX) - On 24 June 2007, a "Public Eye" reporter, Kabelo Masoabi, was verbally attacked at the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy's (LCD) rally in Makhaleng, Ha Ramabanta, in the Maseru district.

Masoabi said he was verbally attacked by the LCD youth leadership on arrival at the rally. The minister of communications, Mothetjoa Metsing, apparently came to his rescue when he intervened and alerted the party secretary general, Mpho Malie, of the fracas.

Masoabi said he was called aside by an LCD youth leader who told him to leave the place because he was allegedly biased in his reporting. He was further accused of damaging the image of the LCD.

"They saw us arriving in a 'Public Eye' vehicle, which bears 'Public Eye' stickers, and attacked me when I stepped out of the car," Masoabi said.

Minister Metsing told reporters at a press conference on 26 June that he protected the journalist from further harassment by giving him a safe seat near the "high table".

The reporter suffered no serious injuries.

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