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Radio Bajura journalist fired following cancellation of his programme under pressure from Maoists

(FNJ/IFEX) - Nimendra Shahi, a news correspondent and announcer for Radio Bajura, was removed from his job on 25 August 2008, by Pisbin Bajura radio network, in Bajura, far western Nepal.

According to Arjun Shah, president of the FNJ's Bajura chapter, Shahi was running the radio programme "Halkhabar". On that programme he broadcast a news report, entitled "Chinese Bed for Prime Minister", which, despite being balanced, provoked a very negative reaction from the Maoist party. The manager then cancelled the programme, apparently due to indirect pressure by the Maoists.

In the meantime, a local weekly newspaper, "Malika Time", published a comment by Shahi indicating that Pisbin radio network was weak to bow to such pressures and cancel the programme. Pisbin fired Shahi from the radio station for making that comment.

Subsequently, following pressure by the FNJ Bajura chapter, the programme was reinstated, but Shahi was not.

FNJ condemns the incident and said that it is shameful that journalists are still losing their jobs in the "New Nepal", because of their coverage. FNJ urges the radio station to reinstate Shahi and allow him to work freely.

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