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Journalists assaulted by angry mob

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Freedom Forum is deeply concerned over the treatment suffered by journalists in Sarlahi Sarlahi, Mid-Terai district, on January 2, 2011.

Earlier in the day, sugarcane farmers had organized a protest across the East-West highway to demand a non-reduction in the minimum price of sugarcane over the previous year. The farmers had erected barriers on the highway to prevent entry of any vehicle during the protest. When police attempted to remove the barriers, they were met with a hail of stones, causing a fight to break out between police and the strike organizers. Many people on both sides were injured in the fighting.

A number of journalists went to the Harion area police station to cover the news of injuries to police personnel during the fight. They were on their way home when an angry mob turned on them and began assaulting journalists Krishna Esmali and Chudamani Wagle, demanding to know why they had gone to the police station.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident and urges all parties to build a press freedom-friendly environment that respects the rights of journalists.

Freedom Forum further urges authorities to take immediate action against those involved in the incident.

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