Activists of Nepali Congress party affiliated Nepal Student Union light torches as they begin a torch rally through the streets against the Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Bhattarai has been running a caretaker government since May last year, but the opposition parties want him to step down. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Katmandu, Nepal -

A media rights group says 22 journalists have fled a town in northwestern Nepal after threats from supporters of the prime minister's political party.

Jagat Napal of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists said the journalists fled Dailekh to the nearby city of Surkhet last week following threats from supporters of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is the deputy leader of the party of former communist rebels.

The journalists were protesting the alleged attempt from Bhattarai to stop an investigation into the killing of a journalist by the Maoists in 2004. Bhattarai is accused of ordering the police to stop the investigation and release the suspect from police custody.

As a guerrilla movement, the Maoists fought between 1996 to 2006 before joining a UN-sponsored peace process. - Sapa-AP