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Maoist cadres threaten to break legs and spine of "Nayen" weekly's chief editor

(FNJ/IFEX) - Nawaraj Pathik, chief editor of "Nayen" weekly, published in Ramechhap, was threatened with having his legs and spine broken by Maoist cadres on 5 March 2008 at Manthali, the district headquarters of Ramechhap district, in the eastern region of Nepal.

According to Pathik, Maoist cadre Bimal Dhungel questioned the accuracy of the editorial published in the weekly on 2 March. The subject of the editorial was the "invasion of crime in politics". Pathik said that editorial's aim was to draw attention to bribery and autocratic interference by the Maoists in the tendering of contracts in the district. Although no particular individuals' names were mentioned in the editorial, certain Maoists believed that the accusation was made about them and threatened Pathik on 4 March.

The Maoists again threatened him on 5 March, dragging him to their party office and threatening to break his legs and spine if he did not prove the accusation within two days.

FNJ has condemned the incident and urged the Maoists not to interfere with press freedom and freedom of expression and to respect the public's right to information.

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