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Newspaper office vandalised in Kathmandu

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Freedom Forum is concerned by a press freedom violation that occurred in the capital city, Kathmandu, on 4 September 2011. A group of unidentified persons on five motorcycles entered the office of the "Naya Patrika" national daily in Kamalpokhari, looking for the editor and began vandalizing the premises.

According to the daily's deputy general manager, Bharat Pokharel, nine people barged into the office at 10:30am, cut the telephone wire, smashed a computer and broke an editor's desk, other furniture and a window pane, all in retaliation for a crime story the paper had recently published. "Naya Patrika" had published the news in an article called "Three held with a sword" on its third page.

Fortunately, no editors were present during the incident.

The incident shows that the media is not spared even in the capital city, where people expect better rule of law. Similarly, it has created terror among the journalists about the insecure environment in which they work, forcing them to practice self-censorship. The recurring incidents of press freedom violations have badly affected journalists and civil society and disempowered the press.

Freedom Forum urges the government to create a safe and secure environment for the media to carry out their work and to protect people's right to information.

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