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"Jana Kranti Dainik" daily offices vandalised, documents burned; journalist Keshav Bhandari beaten while covering student union clash

(FNJ/IFEX) - The attention of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has been drawn to a serious act of vandalism in Mahendra Nagar against the paper "Jana Kranti Dainik" by Youth Force, a sister organization of CPN-UML (Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist).

The Youth Force members vandalized the newspaper office over a news report published on 4 March 2009. The assailants damaged several things in the office, including computers and furniture. Documents in the "Jana Kranti Dainik" office were also torched by the activists.

According to FNJ, this act of violating press freedom by activists of a political party is regrettable. Legal remedies can always be used when there is any dissatisfaction over published news. FNJ strongly condemns this act and demands a proper investigation of the incident and sanctions for the guilty. FNJ also urges the concerned authorities to provide compensation to "Jana Kranti Dainik".

Similarly, FNJ also condemns the 4 March beating of Keshav Bhandari, local correspondent of Image Channel, in Butwal, by members of the All Nepal National Free Students' Union Revolutionary (ANNFSU-R), including students Akil Sahi and Biswas. Bhandari was on duty covering the clashes between the All Nepal National Student Union (ANNSU), affiliated with the CPN-UML, and the ANNFSU-R, affiliated with the Unified Maoists. FNJ regrets the irresponsible actions of political party members and urges all to honor press freedom and freedom of expression. FNJ also demands an investigation of the incident and sanctions for the guilty.

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