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Media houses attacked in Kailali district; journalist assaulted in Bhaktapur

(FNJ/IFEX) - A group of people attacked the offices of the "Hamar Pahura" daily and Gardener Offset Press and mistreated employees of these media houses in Dhangadi, Kailali, a district in far-western Nepal. The group, which was supporting a strike by the Kailali Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was trying to shut down the Dhangadi Bazaar at the time.

According to a 14 July 2008 press release issued by Bharat Shah, secretary of FNJ's Kailali branch, a group of entrepreneurs uttered verbal abuse and closed the gate behind them, locking the "Hamar Pahura" journalists inside. The intruders asked, "What have you journalists done?"

FNJ expresses serious concern over the incidents at the media houses and condemns such attacks on journalists and media workers carrying out their duties. It also urges the authorities to penalise those involved in the incidents immediately and calls on the perpetrators not to repeat such actions in the future.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident on 12 July, Kamal Mishra, a correspondent for "Nepal Samacharpatra" national daily based in Thimi-Madhyapur and a member of FNJ's Jhapa branch, was beaten and threatened by Prahlad Khadka at Duwakot VDC, Bhaktapur, a district next to the capital city Kathmandu.

"Khadka hit my leg with a bottle of sauce at a local tea shop and angrily blamed me for the news about him published in "Sanghu" weekly, with which I am no longer associated," Mishra told FNJ. He was injured in the leg, which became swollen.

FNJ denounces the attack on the innocent journalist and asks anyone who disapproves of published news to seek legal remedy. It also urges the local authority to investigate and punish the party responsible for the incident.

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