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TV journalist receives death threat in Saptari

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - District correspondent for Avenues Television in Saptari, Baijanath Yadav, was threatened by a group of people in Saptari, a southern plain district of Nepal, on January 1, 2011. Yadav was threatened by security guards of Indian lawmaker Sarfaraz Alam and his supporters for allegedly airing news about his entry into Nepal with arms and armed security personnel.

Yadav and his family members were verbally threatened with death. According to Avenues Television, Alam's supporters threatened to "chop up his body" and throw it in the nearby Saptakoshi River.

Yadav was forced to leave his workplace due to these threats to his safety.

Alam reportedly arrived in Nepal to attend a picnic program organized for the new year. Journalists in Saptari were also at the program where Alam and his allies were seen with well-equipped arms and ammunition, according to Avenues Television.

The news report stated that it was illegal to enter the territory of a sovereign country with armed personnel without receiving permission of the authority concerned.

Freedom Forum expresses serious concern over the incident and asks the local administration to immediately investigate the incident and bring the guilty parties to justice. This is indeed a blow against the journalist's right to freely report on issues of public concern. The Forum also calls on the border security authority of Nepal to prevent such incidents resulting from the lawlessness in the border areas. The Forum demands that the local administration create a favourable work environment for journalist Yadav and guarantee his right to practice his profession without interference.

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