Freedom Forum welcomes a court decision that attackers on journalist have been slapped a jail term in Biratnagar, an eastern city of Nepal, on April 22, 2013.
The District Court Morang sentenced Manoj Rai to five years in prison while Rohit Koirala to six months for assaulting Khilnath Dhakal, reporter with the Nagarik daily, from Biratnagar.
Both Rai and Koirala are the cadres of the Youth Association Nepal, a youth wing of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML).
The duo had kidnapped and mercilessly attacked Dhakal on June 5, 2011, over a news report by him. Following the incident, Morang Chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists had filed a case of murder attempt against the duo and Parsuram Basnet, the mastermind behind the whole incident.
Basnet had appeared in the court in person after absconding for 11 months. He was released on general date. He is however given clean chit by the court.
Journalist Dhakal had reported about a physical attack on the prisoners on the premises of the District Court Morang on June 1, 2011, which later turned into the case of attack on him.
Freedom Forum believes that though late, the court decision would be very helpful to check the growing impunity in the country. Also, it would help provide relief and justice to the victim journalist.
Earlier, Freedom Forum, as an organization working for the freedom of expression, right to information, human rights and democracy in the country, had condemned the attack and strongly demanded the government to bring the culprits to book as per the law.
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