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Journalist beaten, injured by police officer while covering clashes in Chainpur

(FNJ/IFEX) - Deepak Oli, president of FNJ's Bajhang chapter and district correspondent of "Gorkhapatra" daily newspaper, was attacked by a police officer at around 1:00 p.m. (local time) on 28 March 2008 at Chainpur, the headquarters of the Bajhang district in far western Nepal.

Oli said that police inspector Ramesh Singh attacked him while he was covering a clash between cadres of the Nepali Congress (NC) party and the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML), regarding the Constituent Assembly election campaign. According to Oli, the police inspector beat him, saying: "You journalists write whatever you want, thinking that your news has the power to do anything."

Oli's head and back were injured in the beating.

The FNJ has condemned this attack on a media person by security personnel. The FNJ finds it upsetting that journalists are threatened and attacked by the very people responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation's citizens. The FNJ urges government authorities not to hinder journalists from carrying out their professional duties and to punish the police officer involved in this assault. It also urges the government to take more seriously its responsibility to protect media personnel.

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