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Political protesters attack journalist in Nepal

As the deadline for the promulgation of the new Constitution (January 22 2015) is drawing closer, various political parties have begun organizing banda (general shutdown) as a pressure tactic to influence the conversation. However, the banda has paralyzed normal life and sometimes journalists are at the receiving end of resulting tensions.

During the general strike called by the major opposition party - Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) - on January 13, Sushil Bandhu Thapa, a journalist affiliated with Sagarmatha Television, was attacked by protesters in Bhaktapur district.

According to the journalist, he was riding a motorcycle and gathering information about the effects of the general strike; however, the protesters attacked him, questioning why he was operating a vehicle during the strike. He managed to escape injury.

In a separate incident, a journalist in Myagdi, a district in the western region of Nepal, was attacked at a fair while he was on duty. Bharat Rakal, who is affiliated with the local station Radio Myagdi, was attacked while he was reporting information on the fair on January 12. He received an injury to his face, and was brought to Pokhara for treatment. The attackers are still unknown.

Freedom Forum condemns the attack on media persons as an attack on the media and press freedom. FF therefore strongly urges political parties to opt for peaceful approaches rather than violent tactics, and respect press freedom and journalists' right to free reporting.

Case history

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