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Newspaper correspondent attacked by transport workers in Kaski; three journalists and their camera operators assaulted by police in Kathmandu

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 24 July 2008, D. R. Pokharel, a news correspondent for "Pokhara Aawaj" daily newspaper and a member of FNJ's Kaski chapter, was assaulted by transport workers. The incident occurred at New Road, Pokhara, Kaski district, in western Nepal.

According to Narayan Karki, president of FNJ's Kaski chapter, Pokharel was attacked while he was gathering information on a clash between members of a student union and transport workers. He was assaulted even after showing his journalist's identity card, and suffered injuries to the head, hand and back.

The student union had called for a nationwide public transport strike after students were denied concessions which had been agreed upon between the government and the public transportation union.

FNJ denounced the incident, stating it was a shameful act to attack the journalist while he was on duty. The organisation demanded that the authorities take action against the guilty parties and arrange treatment for the injured journalist.

In a separate development, on 22 July, a number of reporters were beaten by the Durbar Marg (King's Way) police in the capital city, Kathmandu. Journalist Ujjwol Prashant and camera operator Pramod Malla, of Kantipur Television; journalist Rishiraj Budathoki and camera operator Shikhar Chimoriya, of Sagarmatha Television; and journalist Janak Gautam and camera operator Bhagawati Thapa were assaulted while trying to gather information on the Devaki Shrestha case.

According to FNJ's information, Shrestha was beaten by her brother-in-law, Kishor Shrestha, and was in police custody. Police claim that they charged at the journalists with "lathi" (sticks) to safeguard Shrestha's security. The journalists suffered light injuries in the attack.

FNJ condemned the behavior of the security personnel who attacked the journalists while they were on duty. The federation called on the authorities to sanction the guilty parties.

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