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Media van attacked

(FNJ/IFEX) - A van belonging to Kantipur publications was stopped and burnt near the Banke River close to the border between Sarlahi and Mahottari districts in eastern Nepal at around 2:00 p.m. (local time) on the afternoon on 11 July 2007.

According to Krishna Kumar Ishmaili, president of FNJ's Sarlahi chapter, a group calling itself Gorkha Line Mukti Sewa Samaj has taken responsibility for the attack. The van was attacked while it was returning to Biratnagar after distributing newspapers in the districts. The front part of the vehicle and engine were destroyed during the attack.

According to "Kantipur" daily newspaper, the attackers waited for the vehicle at the area. As the vehicle approached, they stopped it and asked the driver and distributor inside the van to get out and then set it on fire. When the driver asked the reason for the attack, they simply said, "It's the order from above." The reason for the attack is still unclear, but targeting the media van is a violation of press freedom.

The FNJ condemns the attack and urges the concerned parties to solve their differences through dialogue rather than attacking media organisations or vehicles. It is a duty of media organisations to disseminate news freely and fairly and no one has the right to force or threaten media outlets to disseminate news in their favour.

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