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Army official attempts to assault Nepalese journalist

On 4 April 2014, an army official attempted to rape a female journalist in Khotang, a hilly district in eastern Nepal.

According to a reporter with the Nagarik daily from the district, Daman Rai, the journalist who works with a community radio station managed to escape the sexual assault by military official Upendra Basnet. The incident occurred as she was returning home from the office in the evening.

"As she cried for help in response to the soldier's gestures, people in the vicinity nabbed him and handed him over to the police. And the police later handed Basnet to the Army," reporter Rai added.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the incident as it is abhorrent and very discouraging for the press, particularly women journalists. It shows the state of insecurity for women journalists in Nepal.

Therefore, the Nepal Army must ensure that Basnet is rigorously punished and its entire rank and file are educated about human rights.

Compared with the number of male journalists in Nepal, there are very few women, and such incidents can discourage them from entering the journalism profession.

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