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Nepalese journalist receives death threat for article on 2003 massacre

(FNJ/IFEX) - The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over an incident involving a journalist who was continuously threatened for 4 to 5 days through e-mails over a published article.

An unknown person, who identified himself in the e-mail threats as Gyanbhi Gurung, continuously warned journalist Ganesh Pandey that he would be killed over a published article about the Doramba incident. Pandey's article was published on 20 August 2012 in Samacharpatra Daily and online media.

The Doramba incident occurred in 17 August 2003 when 19 suspected Maoists were massacred by the then Royal Nepal Army when the peace talks between the then government and the Maoists were still going on.

Such threats against journalists continue to be issued despite the fact that any aggrieved parties have the option to hold consultations and seek legal solutions if they are not satisfied over published news articles. This is an obstacle to press freedom and an attack on the media's constitutional right of fair news reporting. FNJ condemns such incidents which pose as a serious challenge to freedom of expression and try to weaken a journalist's professional duty. FNJ demands that the government take strong action against the culprit who has identified himself as Gyanbhi Gurung and pay serious attention to Pandey's mental and physical well being.

FNJ also expressed concern over a separate incident on 25 August, during which a journalist was brutally beaten by a group led by the co-secretary of the Nepal Communist Party - Maoist, Dailekh (mid western region of Nepal).

Nabin Rijal, former Vice President of the FNJ's Dailekh Chapter, was brutally assaulted in Ganeshchowk, Dailekh by a group led by Ajit Chand of the NCP-Maoist. The incident occurred around 9 PM, when a group of party activists, including Chand, locked Rijal in a separate room located close to the journalist's flat. According to Rijal, the attackers also threatened to kill him. The journalist sustained injuries to his head and back.

These attacks and threats on journalists who have taken up the responsibility to inform the general public is a highly condemnable matter. FNJ condemns the attack on Rijal and demands that the local administration and concerned party leader take strong action against the guilty party cadres.

Similarly, Sachin Pariyar, a camera person for Mountain Television, was harassed on the morning of 26 August by a Nepal Police Constable, Basanta Bahadur Karki. The incident occurred at around 10 AM while Pariyar was at the Tribhuwan International Airport to cover the return of the Nepali Under-19 World Cup Cricket Team from Australia.

FNJ condemns the incident and demands that the police administration take action against the concerned Nepal Police Constable.

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