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Journalist receives death threat from district land official for reporting on corruption

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 5 June 2007, Purna Mishra, a correspondent of "Bimarsha Weekly" newspaper and a member of FNJ's Sindhupalchowk chapter, was threatened with death by Bhujung Lama, the district chairman of Rastriya Bhumi Adhikar Manch (National Forum of Land Rights), in the office of the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Sidhupalchowk, a central district of Nepal

According to Mishra, he was threatened over a report in which he alleged that Lama had been collecting money illegally from land impoverished people in exchange for promises to provide them land. Lama, with the help of local hooligans, threatened to kill Mishra "anytime and anywhere". On 6 June, Mishra moved to Kathmandu out of fear that he would be attacked.

FNJ condemns the incident and is concerned about the continuous threats being made against journalists for their reporting. Journalists have a duty to present all sides of an issue. No one should try to force a journalist to present news in his or her favour. FNJ has also urged the government to ensure Mishra's safety and to take immediate action against those who have threatened him.

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