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CEHURDES condemns killing of media worker, demands action against culprits

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - Kathmandu, July 23, 2010 - The Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies (CEHURDES) - a Kathmandu-based freedom of expression monitoring group - condemns the killing of Devi Prasad Dhital 'Hemraj', chairman of Radio Tulsipur FM, in the mid-western district of Dang.

Dhital was about to return to Tulsipur from his home village of Urahari on Thursday night (July 22) when he was attacked by a group of armed people and fatally shot. He was later declared dead at a local hospital. The assailants fled immediately.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the murder of the 42-year-old media entrepreneur and human rights activist.

CEHURDES is shocked at the cold-blooded murder of Dhital and strongly condemns such an act of violence targeted at the media community in Nepal that is trying to fulfill its duty in a fragile post-conflict scenario. We demand that the government conduct an independent probe and bring the culprits to book without further delay.

We are especially worried about the deteriorating situation of law and order in the eastern and western regions as the country is yet to have a new government.

The legislature has failed to elect a new premier after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned from his post three weeks ago. The third round of voting is to take place early next month.

We call upon Nepali authorities not to allow the criminals and vested interest groups to take advantage of the fluid situation and to ensure the safety and security of media personnel and free expression activists across the country with added vigilance. We also urge the media fraternity to remain united and be vigilant against all kinds of threats against them.
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