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Armed insurgents threaten broadcast journalists with physical assault over reporting

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - CEHURDES is gravely concerned over serious threats that armed insurgents active in the south-east issued to journalists from Image Channel network.

The Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Goit faction) has issued threats of physical violence against reporters of Image Television and Image FM in response to their coverage of the recent abduction of a doctor and a government official from Rajbiraj, in Saptari district, south-eastern Nepal.

JTMM released a statement accusing the reporters of giving out "false news" that linked the JTMM with criminal gangs. The JTMM has asked the network to apologize for the report, failing which they threatened physical retaliation.

JTMM chief Jai Krishna Goit has reportedly directed his cadres to take action against reporters from the network.

CEHURDES condemns this threat against media personnel. Such threats go against the fundamental rights of the press and freedom of expression. CEHURDES urges all to respect the rights of the press during these transitional times in the history of Nepal, when its people are preparing to write a new Constitution through the election of a new Constituent Assembly. A free press is certain to be a vital component of this democratic exercise.

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