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Journalist beaten by Maoist militants

(FNJ/IFEX) - Bijaya Poudel, a journalist with Kantipur Television (KTV) and the secretary of FNJ's KTV chapter, was attacked by cadres of the Maoist-aligned Madhesi National Liberation Front (MNLF) on 9 June 2007 in the New Baneshwor section of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.

According to Surendra Pandey, the president of FNJ's KTV chapter, MNLF cadres holding a corner meeting stopped Poudel as he was heading toward his office. When he flashed them his identity card, they asked him to take another route. When he set off the other way, another group of cadres participating in the meeting also stopped him, vandalized his motorcycle, and beat him, despite his having shown them his identity card.

The minister for forest and soil conservation, Matrika Yadav, was present during the incident. When the journalist appealed to the minister for help, the minister simply ignored him.

During the assault, Poudel's back was injured, and the head- and sidelights of his motorcycle were damaged.

FNJ condemns this incident and urges the MNLF to apologize and to publicly commit to not repeating such incidents in future. FNJ also demands stern action against those involved in the beating of the journalist, and proper compensation for the damages he sustained.

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