Monday, December 22, 2008

Over the weekend, at least 50 former rebels attacked staff and vandalized the offices of Himal Media, one of Nepal's biggest newspaper publishing houses.

The protesters alleged that the Nepali Times and other magazines carried articles critical of the communist party. They also expressed anger at the firing or relocating of employees affliated with the Maoist movement.

Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda has denied any role in the attack. He told Nepal media the attack was by "immoral agents" who had "infiltrated" the Maoists. He pledged an investigation into the incident.

"This is a direct attack on free press and democracy," said Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepali Times, which is published by Himal Media.

Hundreds of journalists marched through the capital, Kathmandu, on Monday in protest at the attack.


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