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Journalist threatened in Nepal over his news reports

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - August 6, 2012 - Freedom Forum expresses concern over a violation of press freedom that occurred in the capital city on August 3, 2012.

Keshav Prasad Koirala, a journalist affiliated with the Himalayan Times daily, was threatened with physical action over his news reports about a "Swami luring scholars for a religious meeting."

On the night of August 3, a person named Avinash Chaturvedi said to the journalist in a phone call, "You committed a mistake. I heard you made a mistake and I need to deal with it."

The news story about a fake Swami luring scholars for a religious gathering in the US was published in the Himalayan Times on August 4.

In a different case, Tika Ram Neti, a correspondent with the Rajdhani daily from Jhapa, a district in the eastern most part of the southern plain of Nepal, was mistreated by an owner of sweets shop on July 26.

Talking to the Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk, the correspondent said he was held captive for half an hour while we has reporting on the unhygienic conditions at the sweets store named Calcutta Misthanna Bhandar, in Birtamod.

Freedom Forum condemns this harassment of the journalist.

Journalists in Nepal are attacked or receive threats time and again over their reports on social and commercial malpractices and other anomalies.

Freedom Forum strongly urges the administration to locate the individual who threatened Koirala with repercussions and to take punitive measures. The organisation also urges sweet shop owners to respect press freedom and people's right to information.

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