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Journalists attacked, publicly threatened in the city of Dharan

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - In what appears to be a major catalyst to increasing self-censorship among journalists in Nepal, an unidentified group has publicly threatened journalists by placing a banner and poster in the city of Dharan in the eastern district of Sunsari, for nearly two weeks.

The group has placed the banner, which reads "Journalists: be aware, we will take action against you", in a major hub and intersection of the city.

Journalists in the district have accused Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mingmar Lama of publicly spreading the life-threatening message.

On 15 August, Lilanath Ghimire, a journalist working for "Fast Times Daily", was allegedly attacked and injured by a gang led by an individual named Thaman Gurung on the orders of SSP Lama. The incident took place at the Hill Garden Restaurant in Shiva Marg of Dharan.

According to Rajesh Bidrohi, a local journalist, the threats have increased since that incident. Bidrohi also said he believed the propaganda against journalists was ordered by SSP Lama.

"SSP Lama has been misbehaving with journalist using miscreants", said Bidrohi. "Journalists in the district cannot leave their homes in the evening due to rampant threats from the police."

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