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Alleged smuggler threatens radio journalist with torture for refusing to reveal source

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 27 June 2007, P. R. Chataut, the news editor of Ghodaghodi FM radio station, was threatened by an Indian smuggler, Ramesh Gupta, in retaliation for a news piece aired on the station on 24 June. The incident took place in Kailali district in western Nepal.

According to Chataut himself, Ghodaghodi FM aired a report about cement smuggling in the area and named Gupta as the smuggler. Gupta pressured the reporter to reveal his source. When Chataut refused to do so, Gupta threatened to "take him to the torture house" of the Maoist-aligned Young Communist League (YCL).

Chataut is now living in Dhangadi, the district capital, in fear that he will be attacked. Police in Kailali are searching for Gupta; YCL cadres are apparently hiding him from the police.

FNJ condemns the incident and urges the police to locate Gupta and take action against him immediately. Journalists have the right to safeguard their sources and no one can force them to reveal these sources. The Federation has also urged the government to create a safe environment for Chataut's return.

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