14 journalists freed in Nepal, another faces charges of communist rebel links

Police released 14 journalists after their detention in western Nepal, a communist rebel stronghold, but another reporter faced possible charges of links to the guerrillas, officials said Monday.

Harihar Singh Rathor, a correspondent for Nepal's largest newspaper, Kantipur, was detained Sunday along with 14 other journalists in the small mountain town of Dailekh, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) northwest of Katmandu.

Media rights activists secured the release of the other 14, who left the town Monday morning.

But Rathor said he was ordered to stay in the town, with guards outside his house.

The detained journalists said they had been threatened by government troops who were unhappy with their coverage of military operations against the guerrillas, who have a strong presence in the Dailekh area.

Hundreds of journalists have been detained or arrested since February, when King Gyanendra fired the government and took absolute power. About half a dozen reporters remain in jail.

Under anti-terrorism laws, troops have authority to detain for up to a year anyone they suspect of having links to the rebels, reports the AP.

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