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Two journalists threatened in separate incidents

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Misekhang, the chairperson of the Federal Limbuwan State Council, a group carrying out its ethno-political activities in the eastern part of Nepal, threatened journalist Parbat Portel, a reporter for "Kantipur daily" in Kakadbhitta, Jhapa district on September 2, 2010.

Following a news report entitled "Forced donation by Council's cadres" published in the September 2 edition of "Kantipur daily" and aired on Kantipur FM, Misekhang frequently threatened journalist Portel via his cell phone.

In a separate incident, Chandreshwor Bastakoti, a reporter for state-owned Nepal Television, received a threat in the western Mustang district on September 2.

Ajit Thakali, son of Tej Bahadur Thakali known as Mukhiya (traditionally considered the local leader) threatened Bastakoti after the coverage of news on illegal tax collection.

According to Bastakoti, Thakali warned him that he would take "any type of action" if the journalist reported anything against the local tax collection system.

Freedom Forum strongly condemns both incidents and considers such threats attacks on journalists' right to report on public issues. Freedom Forum calls on the law-enforcement bodies of each district to investigate the incidents and prosecute the culprits. Article 15 of the constitution of Nepal guarantees the right to freedom of publication and to broadcast issues in the public interest without interference. Freedom Forum urges the government to implement legal remedies and provide a just resolution to the victims at the earliest.

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