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Journalists threatened with death, attacked by Maoists in Rukum district

(FNJ/IFEX) - Maoists threatened and attacked three journalists in Rukum in response to news published recently in the local weekly "Jantidhara".

Narayan Shah, president of the Federation of Nepali Journalists' (FNJ) Rukum chapter, received a death threat from Raj Kumar Sirpahi "Subodh", a cadre of the Maoist-aligned Young Communist League (YCL), on 30 September 2007 and from Maoist District Secretary Jeetman Pun "Marshall" on 5 November in Musikot, the district headquarters of Rukum, in mid-western Nepal.

According to Shah, Mahesh KC, a Pokhara-based journalist, and Sushil Gautam, a correspondent in Rukum for "Jantidhara", were also attacked and threatened by YCL cadres on 28 September and 1 October, respectively. All the incidents were in retaliation for news published in "Jantidhara".

FNJ strongly condemns the continuous attacks on media and media personnel by Maoist cadres and urges them to respect freedom of expression and the right to information. It also calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

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