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Newspaper office vandalised

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Freedom Forum's attention has once again been drawn to a press freedom violation that occurred on 24 November 2011, in Biratnagar, an eastern city in Nepal's southern plain.

The office of the daily newspaper "Nigarani Dotcom", in Biratnagar, was vandalised by a group of some 50-60 students, along with two teachers and a hostel warden, over a report published in the paper.

Talking to Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk, the paper's editor-in-chief, Hari Koirala, said, "Two teachers and a hostel warden came with some 60 students from the nearby Saptakoshi Boarding School and vandalized the newspaper office on the afternoon of 24 November. They smashed window panes, broke a cupboard, and damaged a camera and recorder."

Koirala said the vandals were angered by a news report stating that a teacher at the school had mercilessly beaten a student, resulting in her being admitted to hospital.The school had earlier tried to hush the beating by asking the paper not to publish the story.

Freedom Forum views the raid of the paper's office as an attack on press freedom and the right to information and voices its concern over the behaviour of members of an educational institution, who should be looked to to set an example.

Freedom Forum calls on the concerned authorities to bring the culprits to justice.

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