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Maoist party member threatens local journalist over story

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Freedom Forum is concerned about a serious press freedom abuse in Dailekh, a district in western Nepal, on December 15, 2011.

A cadre from the ruling UCPN-Maoist in the district threatened to kill Govinda KC, a reporter with the "Himalaya Times" daily, over a news story he wrote about a troubled local woman in the December 10 issue of the paper.

In a telephone conversation, KC told Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk, "Krishna Prasad Jaishee 'Binaya' (district joint secretary of the UCPN-Maoist), threatened to kill me over the news I published about the plight of a troubled woman. He accused me of ruining his reputation and issued the threats as I was on my way to the office of a local newspaper on Thursday evening." The journalist denied the story was biased and said it merely recounted the plight of the woman.

UCPN-Maoist hostility towards the press is not new, says Freedom Forum. "The Maoist party is maintaining a double standard because it claims to support media freedom, yet maintains a hold on its cadres at the local level. As the ruling party, it should be an example to others in the protection and promotion of press freedom," said the organisation.

Freedom Forum urges the UCPN-Maoist to teach its cadres to respect Nepali citizens' right to information and urges Dailekh district authorities to protect Govinda KC from possible attack.

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