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Local leader attacks journalist for publishing news; apologizes later

Journalist Bhojraj Basnet, affiliated to www.nirantakhabar.com (an online based news portal) and Radio Betana 97.1 MHz was attacked by a local political leader in Belbari, Morang on May 19. Morang district lies in Province 1 of Nepal.

According to the information provided by Freedom Forum's representative Bikram Niraula, Vice-president of the ward committee affiliated to Nepali Congress Bikram Rai attacked journalist Basnet while he was about to leave his office at 7:00 pm.

However, journalist Basnet escaped major injuries but his shirt was torn off during the attack.

Journalist Basnet was attacked for publishing news on the concerned party's decision to suspend the Vice-President Rai including others on May 18 in www.nirantarkhabar.com , reported representative Niraula.

Following the incident, Area Police Office Belbari had taken Rai under control.

Later, he was released next day (May 20) after apologzing in front of journalist Basnet and Police officers, informed representative Niraula quoting Police Inspector Man Bahadur Shrestha.

Freedom Forum condemns the attack as it is gross violation of press freedom. Despite the presence of alternative ways to express dissatisfaction and reservations upon news content, attacking journalist is severe intimidation and contributes to self-censorship. However, FF welcomes the attacker's realization and apology and urges the concerned authority to ensure secure atmosphere for working journalists.

For more information,
Freedom Forum