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Journalists threatened with death by public employees in Siraha and Giaghat

(FNJ/IFEX) - Parshuram Shah, publisher and editor of the newspaper "Janadharana Weekly", was threatened with death by staffers of the Siraha District Development Committee (DDC) on 16 July 2007. The incident took place in Siraha, an eastern district of Nepal.

According to Dineshwor Gupta, president of FNJ's Siraha Chapter, Shah had approached the DDC members to seek information regarding their development budget for fiscal year 2006-2007. Khyam Mani Kafle, implementation officer and accountant for the DDC, mistreated Shah and threatened to kill him.

In a separate incident, Lila Prasad Niraula, the vice president of FNJ's Udayapur chapter was threatened with death by Kashikanta Jha, the head of the District Office of Agriculture (DOA) in Udayapur on 15 July. The incident took place in Gaighat, Udayapur, an eastern district of Nepal.

According to Ishwor Tamang, president of FNJ's Udayapur Chapter, Dilliram Khatiwada, a correspondent for "Kantipur" newspaper, Niraula and Tamang himself had approached the DOA to report on its activities.

FNJ condemns both incidents and urges those guilty of these threats to apologize publicly and not to repeat such behaviour in future. The FNJ also demands that the authorities take strong action against the guilty. It is very unfortunate that persons holding responsible positions are threatening journalists. Journalists have the right to collect and present all sides of every issue of public interest. No one has the right to interfere with journalists' efforts to collect and disseminate news.

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