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Ruling Maoist party cadres attack journalists, one seriously injured

Freedom Forum has been deeply concerned over the attack on journalists by the ruling Maoists party cadres in Kavre, a neighbouring district of the capital city, on January 28, 2013.

In course of reporting and photographing about the programme organized by the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) which was also addressed by party Vice-Chairman and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, six journalists were thrashed by his cadres.

Manoj Basnet, reporter to the Kantipur daily, Bhola Thapa to the Nepal Television, Moti Timalsina to the Sourya daily, Ram Krishna Chapagain to the Nepal Samacharpatra daily, Keshav Raj Poudel to the Rajdhani daily and local journalists Ram Krishna Banjara, Prakash Sundash and Krishna Neupane were attacked with rods and stones by the Maoist cadres and barred of making news.

Among them, Krishna Neupane, receiving treatment at a hospital in the district, is in serious condition, said Bhola Thapa while talking to Freedom Forum.

Mr Thapa further said Manoj Basnet and Keshav Raj Poudel were still receiving death threats for making news about the Maoist programme.

In the recent days, the UCPN-Maoist leaders and cadres have been aggressive towards media and journalists for reporting about their misdeeds and intimidations. It is the latest series of intimidation on media persons that too in the programme attended by the Prime Minister.

It is a gross violation of press freedom and citizen's right to information. The incident has proved that how hostile the Maoists party is towards free media.

The suppression of media by the Maoists is condemnable. The party and its cadres need to respect free press to suit democratic culture and practice.

Finally, the Freedom Forum wishes speedy recovery of the injured journalist Neupane.