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Maoist-affiliated union again disrupts distribution of two newspapers, issues death threat

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - CEHURDES condemns the renewed disruption of distribution of two daily newspapers by a Maoist-affiliated trade union, and the death threat the union allegedly issued against anyone who contradicts their orders.

On 11 August 2007, two weeks after the same group disrupted the distribution of "Annapurna Post" and "The Himalayan Times" daily newspapers, the union has re-launched their disruption of the same publications, protesting against their reporting.

According to the newspapers, the protesting workers said that they would not allow the distribution of the newspapers because they were carrying news in their 11 August editions about the filing of a case by the newspapers' management against members of the trade union, and about the union's refusal to accept the court summons.

"The (union) leaders announced that they would disrupt distribution from Sunday (12 August) and kill anyone who dared to distribute the newspapers," the website of the daily newspapers added.

In response to the management's writ petition, on 10 August the Patan Appellate Court summoned members of the Maoist-affiliated union to appear in court on 14 August. The court gave the union leaders 15 days to submit affidavits stating the legal basis on which they planned to disrupt the newspapers' distribution. The union leaders, however, refused to accept the notice.

CEHURDES is shocked by the renewed disruption of the distribution of these newspapers. It is even more shocked by the apparent interference by trade union workers on editorial content, and by their reported issuing of a death threat. CEHURDES considers this a blatant attack on press freedom and a violation of people's right to information. It urges all concerned to allow the uninterrupted publication and distribution of these newspapers.

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