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Twenty-five journalists arrested during peaceful demonstration

(FNJ/IFEX) - Police interfered and arrested 25 journalists at a demonstration organized by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Kathmandu chapter from the Southern Gate of Singhadurbar, Nepal Government's Secretariat, on 15 November 2007, at 9:30 a.m. (local time).

The demonstration was organized to protest against continuous attacks on and intimidation of journalists, demanding action be taken against Birendra K. Shah's killers and to track the whereabouts of abducted journalist Prakash Singh Thakuri who was abducted from Mahendranagar on 5 July.

The protestors surrounded the secretariat's gate to bar the ministers from entering their offices in order to pressure the government to maintain the safety and security of media persons.

The arrested journalists are: Yuvraj Bidrohi, president of FNJ Kathmandu chapter, Ujir Magar, president of FNJ Lalitpur chapter, journalists Ishworiraj Dhakal, Govinda Pokharel, Dhana Bahadur Magar, Bhuwan KC, Biswomani Subedi, Kiran Dhakal, Megham Hamal, Bhabindra Karki, Prakash Timsina, Govinda Prasad Chaulagain, Amrit Baniya, Bir Man Sherpa, Manoj Timsina, Kalpana Sharma, Dinesh Khanal, Suresh Raut, Mukunda Poudel, Sanjeev Bagale, Mohan Rai, Sagar Rana Magar, J.B Ghale Magar, Baikuntha Bhandari and Ishwor Raj Magar. The arrested journalists are detained at Mahendra Police station.

FNJ has condemned the incident and has severely criticized police interference on the peaceful demonstration. The Federation has urged the government to release the arrested journalists immediately and to respect press freedom.

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