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Newspapers, magazines burned by activists

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 23 August 2009, 15,000 copies of "Kantipur" and "The Kathamandu Post" dailies were burned by the activists of Madhesh Terai Forum (MTF) in Saptari district. MTF cadres intercepted a "Kantipur" publications vehicle in front of a book store in Rajbiraj (headquarters of Saptari district), took the papers out of the vehicle and set them on fire. The cadres of MTF also burned copies of "Nepal" magazine, a sister publication of "Kantipur". The vehicle was carrying the Sunday edition of "The Kathmandu Post", "Kantipur" daily and "Nepal" magazine.

MTF Saptari Chairman Shyam Narayan Yadav said his group had burned the newspapers for allegedly defying their warnings. A week ago, MTF Chairman Amar Yadav had imposed a ban on the distribution of newspapers published in the Nepali language in Madehsh.

MTF has also warned that it would stop the broadcast of programs in the Nepali language in the electronic media from 6 September onwards.

Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) strongly condemns the MTF's act of burning newspapers. FNJ feels that the burning of newspapers is a serious violation of freedom of expression and urges all to be responsible towards the press and the media. FNJ calls on all parties to settle any kind of grievances and disputes through talks and not to resort to anything that violates the rights of the press.

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