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Thirty journalists arrested, later released, for demanding reinstatement of 49 dismissed journalists

(FNJ/IFEX) - Thirty journalists were arrested at the gate of Singhadurbar on 13 August 2007 as they were demonstrating for the reinstatement of 49 journalists fired by the management of the Gorkhapatra Corporation.

According to the press release issued by Nepal Press Union (NPU), the journalists were gathered at a sit-in protest organized by NPU in front of Singhadurbar and were arrested by the police at around 10:00 a.m. (local time). They were released the same day.

On 14 August, NPU led a two-hour sit-in protest in front of the Ministry of Information and Communications. Many journalists were present at the protest to express their solidarity.

The same day, FNJ organised a discussion program with its Gorkhapatra chapter at the organisation's premises and came to the conclusion that it will likely hold a meeting with the Minister of Information and Communication on 15 August.

In a separate incident, the manager of the HBC FM station, Birendra Daha, has been staging a hunger strike since 12 August at Media Village, protesting the closure of a radio station by the Maoist?affiliated Ganatantrik Radio Workers' Forum. A group of HBC FM staffers who support management have also launched a hunger strike, beginning 14 August, at the same location to protest of the closure of the radio station.

In yet another incident, distribution of "The Himalayan Times" and "Annapurna Post" has again been disrupted (see IFEX alerts of 13 August and 23 July 2007). Obstruction of the distribution of these publications was begun on 11 August by the Maoists-aligned workers' union.

FNJ has urged the government, concerned media institutions, the conflicting parties, journalists and management to settle these issues through dialogue.

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