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Nepal 26 May 2003

Two journalists sacked by government radio station

Reporters Without Borders protested today at the unjustified dismissal of two journalists of the state-owned Radio Nepal, Murari Kumar Sharma and Uttam Hamal, and accused the government of trying stifle all criticism of the authorities.

It called on information and communications minister Ramesh Nath Pandey to give them their jobs back and stop interfering with the staff of government media.

The two journalists, who have worked for the radio for eight years, were sacked on 22 May for broadcasting reports about a peaceful protest movement by five opposition parties. Station chief Silendra Raj Sharma had received a letter from the minister asking him to dismiss them immediately.

Both journalists are top officials of the Nepal Press Union, one of the country’s main media organisations. The government has often attacked the union’s members in recent years because of its pro-democracy positions.

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