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Police open fire on individuals protesting assault on journalist, killing at least three

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - CEHURDES is concerned by the physical assault perpetrated on a journalist in Kailali, a district in the far-western region of the country, by militants of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-Maoist) on 27 May 2008, and is shocked by the subsequent fatal shooting by police of civilians protesting the incident the next day.

According to reports, Maoist cadres and some local residents assaulted journalist Lucky Chaudhari over a news report published in his Tharu-language weekly newspaper about irregularities in the financial management of a local temple.

Subsequently, the same groups tried to attack Chaudhari, and some local human rights workers accompanying him, when he attempted to file a complaint about the incident with the Kailali District Administration Office.

When others gathered to protest the assault on Chaudhari, police opened fire on the demonstration, killing at least three persons and injuring six others.

CEHURDES expresses concern over the assault on Chaudhari and considers it a blatant violation of press freedom. CEHURDES also expresses sorrow at the death of innocent civilians and demands that the incident be investigated thoroughly and culprits punished. CEHURDES also calls upon the government to ensure the safety and security of all journalists, including Chaudhari.

Updates the Chaudhari (Chaudhari) case:

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