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Protesters assault journalists, briefly seize camera

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 22 January 2008, angry protesters assaulted Santosh Dhital, a correspondent of Avenues Television, and his colleague, cameraperson Janaki Singh, in the Chabahil district of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.

According to Avenues Television news editor Kedar Koirala, the two journalists were on site at around 1:30 p.m. (local time) to cover a protest organized by consumer rights groups and student organizations against a hike in the price of petroleum products. Protesters seized Singh's camera and assaulted him and Dhital even after the journalists showed them their press cards. The camera was returned to Singh after police intervened.

The government has raised the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas due to the rising price of oil in the international market. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) raised the price of petrol in December 2007, giving the same reason.

FNJ condemns attacks against journalists and urges the groups involved in this incident to show respect for media personnel and to stop hindering them from performing their duties.

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