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Journalist assaulted, her mother and brother injured, after covering school dispute in Baglung district

(FNJ/IFEX) - Bhasa Sharma, treasurer of FNJ's Baglung district chapter, was attacked by a group of youths led by Khim Bahadur Purja, of Sukhaura village, Baglung district, in central Nepal, on 23 October 2007. The group broke into Sharma's house at night and beat her. They also attacked her with a "khukuris" - a sharp weapon. Her mother, Harimaya Sharma, and brother, Pawan, sustained injuries in the assault.

During a recent news programme Sharma had read out news about a dispute between students and teachers in the Mahendra Higher Secondary School in Sukhaura village and about corruption in the school administration. It is believed that the youths may have assumed she was opposed to their position in the dispute and attacked her for that reason. According to Rajesh Chandra Rajbhandari, president of FNJ's Baglung chapter, Sharma was attacked after she had led a team of human right activists, journalists and political leaders to mediate in the dispute between the students and teachers.

FNJ has condemned the incident and has urged the government to find and punish the guilty immediately. Journalists are being targeted for writing news and it is wrong to attack journalists for fulfilling their duties. FNJ has also requested that the government protect journalists and create a safe working environment for them.

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