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Journalist attacked by students over coverage of campus political clashes

(FNJ/IFEX) - Sahadev Thapa, correspondent of Avenues television station and associate editor of Hamro radio station, broadcast on 103.4 Mhz, was attacked on the morning of 28 August 2008 by members of the student wings of two political parties at Charikot Satdobato, in the Dolakha district, central Nepal.

Thapa was covering the protests organized by the All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU), which is allied with the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), and the Nepal Student Union (NSU), which is allied with the Nepali Congress party. The protests were organised after the tense situation created by clashes among various political parties at the Gaurishankar Multiple Campus in the district. The campus is currently the site of frequent disturbances.

According to Rajendra Manandhar, president of FNJ's Dolakha chapter, the journalist was deliberately attacked by the students and other political activists because of the news broadcast on the television and radio stations for which he works about the political conflicts on campus.

Thapa's camera was also damaged during the attack.

FNJ expresses serious concern over this severe violation of media rights and demands that activists take responsibility for the incident and compensate the journalist for the damage to his equipment. FNJ notes that there are due processes to be followed to address concerns about news that is allegedly imbalanced. FNJ also requests that the local authorities punish those responsible for the attack.

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