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Maoist cadres briefly detain, harass and threaten to kill journalist

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 20 November 2007, Pradip Kumar Mandal, a reporter for "Janapriya Weekly", a Janakpur-based newspaper, was attacked and threatened with death by Maoist cadres. The incident took place in Siraha, an eastern district of Nepal.

Mandal was covering the district "bandh", a stoppage of vehicular traffic and business activity, called by Maoists to protest the arrest of two of their cadres. While he was reporting, Maoist cadres manhandled and threatened to kill him, according to Dineshwor Gupta, president of FNJ's Siraha Chapter. The Maoists even seized his motorbike and press pass, Gupta added, taking the journalist captive for two hours. When the journalist protested, they threatened to kill him as they did to Birendra Shah, a Bara-based journalist who was abducted and killed in October (see IFEX alerts of 9 and 5 November, 15 and 9 October 2007).

Young Communist League (YCL) district chairman Jagat Yadav expressed regret over the incident and committed himself to taking action against those involved.

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

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