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Attacks on journalists continue

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Freedom Forum is gravely concerned over the increasing incidence of press freedom violations in Nepal. On 20 December 2010, reporter Partha Mandal and his family were assaulted by individuals involved in illegal trade in Bhadrapur, in the far eastern district of Jhapa. This incident took place just a day after a group of gamblers attacked journalist Bal Krishna Sharma, a local correspondent for Sagarmatha Television in Rukum. Similarly, journalist Krishna Gyawali was manhandled in Bhaktapur district, near the capital city of Kathmandu, on 17 December. Mandal is a reporter for the "Purbanchal" daily, based in Birtamod, Jhapa.

Mandal had reportedly covered a story about the illegal importation of goods by not paying customs duties. The group involved in the illegal goods importation rounded up Mandal and his family after they had returned to their home. The journalist, his mother, Santona Mandal, and father, Gopal Mandal, sustained injuries in the attack.

Freedom Forum calls on those involved in these violations of press freedom to respect the rights of journalists. The Forum also strongly urges the authorities to bring those responsible for the actions against the journalists to justice and to implement concrete measures to prevent these types of press freedom violations.

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