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Journalist Attacked and Threatened by Maoist cadres

On December 18, 2010 students associated to the Unified Communist Party of Nepal–Maoist (UCPN–Maoist), the largest party of Nepal, issued death threat to Devnarayan Saha, a correspondent for the 'Kantipur' and 'The Kathmandu Post'-national broadsheet dailies-in southern plain Saptari district of Nepal.

Journalist Saha received the threat from leaders of All Nepal National Independent Students Union—Revolutionary (ANNISU—R) at the district-based Suryanarayan Satyanarayan Multiple Campus over a news report related to the students' protest where the cadres of ANNISU—R had inhumanely thrashed the students affiliated with other student unions.

"They (the miscreants) attempted to attack me twice on December 18," journalist Saha told Press Freedom Monitoring Desk of Freedom Forum over the phone, "they used indecent words to me and even pelted bricks at me." He further said, "I luckily escaped the incident otherwise I might face tragic incident."

According to journalist Saha, Maoist party has allegedly decided to 'take action' against him for his previous reporting. "It is heard that they will attack me again because I have never written news under their influence," Saha added. Saha had informed the local police about the incident.

Freedom Forum strongly denounces the incident and asks the authority concerned to investigate the incident and bring the guilty to book. "Attacking journalist just for his writing is uncivilized act of Maoist cadres," says Freedom Forum's chairperson Taranath Dahal, "this kind of act should be stopped immediately to give a feeling to journalists that they are free for reporting any incident."

"Since UCPN—Maoist is the largest party of Nepal, it is their duty to respect the constitutional provisions ensuring the right to freedom of reporting on public issues regardless of any threat and barriers." Dahal asserts.