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Petrol bomb hurled at photojournalists covering protest

This statement was originally published on nepalpressfreedom.org on 30 March 2017.

A petrol bomb was hurled against a group of three photojournalists namely, Keshav Thapa of The Kathmandu Post, Shreedhar Poudel of Online Khabar, and Manoj Thapa of Metro FM 95.6 by an unidentified gang on March 28, 2017.

The attack took place while they were reporting on the clashes between Police and various student unions protesting against the Free Student Union's election at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus in the Kathmandu Valley.

During a conversation with Freedom Forum, journalist Thapa said, "After we took the pictures of the ongoing FSU election and the protest, a gang threw a petrol bomb which [exploded] near us. Being close, I received a minor injury to my legs and eyes and am using eye drops. Other friends however, escaped injury."

In a separate conversation with journalist Poudel, he stated, "Even though we escaped injury, a few hours later, a group approached me for coffee and threatened me not to post more pictures and [highlight] the protest for my own safety. I am pretty sure they too belonged to the protesting students' group. Thus, the attack may be preplanned."

Information about the attack and the threat has been given to the police, he added.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the attack on the journalists. Any attack on journalists merely because of their profession even in the presence of security forces in the capital city is cause for serious concern. It is a sheer violation of press freedom. FF urges the concerned bodies to investigate the case and help ensure that there is respect for journalists' right to freely report.

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