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Journalist taken hostage, receives death threat

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - 6 September 2011 - Freedom Forum is concerned over an incident which occurred in Jhapa district, in the southern plain of the eastern most part of country on 3 September 2011.

According to the District Chairman of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Ganesh Pokharel, journalist Paras Timsina was abducted from a local Birta bazaar by two unidentified persons on a motorcycle. The assailants blindfolded the journalist and took him to an undisclosed location where they held him for two hours. Before releasing Timsina, they warned him that he would be killed if he reported on the incident.

The assailants reportedly said, "You are a journalist and report on the news. You have hindered our work. If you continue to write stories, you will be finished off within two hours of publishing the report."

Freedom Forum is concerned that press freedom violations are on the rise as there is not sufficient security for journalists. As a result, journalists and members of civil society in general are agitated and live in fear.

A greater role for the police and the government is urgently needed to protect and promote media freedom and people's right to information.

Freedom Forum urges the government to create a safe environment for media workers so they can continue to carry out their work, thereby safeguarding people's right to information.

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