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Death Threat to Editors, Newspaper Closed Down

Freedom Forum has been seriously concerned over an incident of press freedom violation occurred in Biratnagar, a city in the eastern plain of Nepal on May 30, 2012.

The cadres of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in Morang district vandalized the press of the Nigarani daily making dysfunctional the operating and vacuum system.

Earlier, the editorial team with the daily was threatened of life and warning the editorial team to shut down the paper.

Due to the vandalism in the newspaper's press, the daily has been closed for three days.

Speaking with the Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk, executive editor with the daily, Milan Raut, said, "The root cause behind the vandalism and threat is the political dispute between the cadres of Nepali Congress, and Maoist parties in the district."

Executive editor Raut further made it clear that Nepali Congress leader in the district Khadga Fago is one of the promoters of the newspaper. Therefore, the Maoists who lost two cadres in the clash with Nepali Congress tried to revenge in the daily as it has Nepali Congress leader as one of the promoters.

This is the latest example how the political disputes become an obstruction and threat to press freedom in Nepal.

Despite solving political problem in its own level, the repercussion has been seen in the media. Innocent journalists have now been made target.

Freedom Forum, therefore, strongly urge the Nepali Congress, and UCPN-Maoist parties in Morang to solve the problem in their own level, respect press freedom and citizens' right to information. Also, the local administration needs to provide security to the journalists and take action on the vandals so that the daily could resume publication.