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Journalist assaulted by politician

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 4 December 2010, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Min Kumar Dahal, a representative for the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in the Sindhuli district and a local correspondent for Nepal Television, was assaulted by Upendra Kumar Pokhrel. Pokhrel, who is also known as Ujjwal, is a Nepali Congress Party district member and the president of the Nepal Tarun Dal, a sister organisation to the Nepali Congress Party.

Dahal was listening to a dispute between local leaders of the Nepali Congress Party and the Unified CPN Maoists in Loktantric Chowtara, near the municipal offices, when Pokhrel suddenly, and without any reason, started beating him. The journalist sustained injuries to many parts of his body and is undergoing treatment at the Sindhuli hospital.

The FNJ vehemently condemns the beating of the journalist, particularly as the assault was committed by an individual who holds a position of responsibility in a political party. The FNJ also feels strongly that the political parties have failed to adhere to commitments they have made time and again to fully respect press freedom. The organisation demands that the authorities immediately take action against Pokhrel and ensure that Dahal receives proper treatment as well as appropriate compensation.

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