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Press Freedom Violation Continues

The general strike called by 13 student unions affiliated to different political parties paralyzed the normal life across the country on January 25, 2012.

In course of the general strike, the students agitating against the price hike of petroleum products burnt the copies of the Nagarik daily in Palpa, a hilly district in the western part of the country on January 25.

They burnt the newspaper, reasoning that it did not publish the stories in favour of the general strike they had called against price hike. They accused the Nagarik daily of writing editorial against the general strike.

The students also threatened of burning other newspapers it they did not give importance to their protest.

Meanwhile, a cadre of the Nepali Congress threatened a journalist of breaking his hand and burning his newspaper in Lamjung, a hilly district in the western region of Nepal on 24 January, 2012.

Nepali Congress party cadre Murali Kumal threatened executive editor of a local Lamjung Khabar daily, Navin Raj Kuikel, expressing dissatisfaction towards the editorial published in the newspaper.

Moreover, the party cadres had forced cameraperson Anjan Kumar Himali affiliated to the Janaapekshya weekly while taking picture of their program the same day.

Meanwhile, an unknown person threatened of action on Surya Tamang, news editor at Rupakot Community Radio of Khatang, a hilly district in the eastern part of the country on January 23, 2012.

Talking to the Freedom Forum Media Monitoring Desk, news editor Tamang said, "An unknown person threatened me of taking physical action saying I was a journalist."

Freedom Forum condemns all four incidents which have violated press freedom, the constitutionally guaranteed rights. It is condemnable that the political cadres have turned aggressive towards media and journalists' rights to make news.

Freedom Forum, therefore, urges the concerned political party to teach their cadres to respect press freedom in case of Palpa and Lamjung districts while the local administration needs to seek the person who threatened to take action on journalist in Khotang district so as to ensure security to the journalist.