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Student leaders threaten journalists to remove news from online portal

Student union leaders affiliated to the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have threatened the journalists of hamrakura.com online news portal to remove a news, critical against the union's chairperson.

According to the Executive Editor of the online, Madhav Chamlagain, seven persons including a central committee member of the All Nepal National Free Student's Union (ANNFSU) forcefully entered into the newsroom of the office at 7 pm in the evening and pressured him and other journalists to remove the news from the online.

As per the Province 3 representative for Freedom Forum Ashok Dahal, the group also resorted to hullabaloo terrorizing the few journalists working the newsroom until the evening. Asking journalists to remove the news immediately, the group has warned that they won't leave anyone until the critical against ANNFSU chief Nabina Lama is removed. "We had to go through mental torture and harassing words for 45 minutes. They left the newsroom only after we said that we didn't have technical access to remove the news," said Chamlagain.

Lawmaker turned student leader Lama also threatened Siwakoti via telephonic conversation to remove the published news or face the cyber crime case.

Also Shiwakoti shared, "After the incident journalist in my office are afraid to work and are feeling unsafe here."

The online had carried news about harassing message of Lama to an individual while asking about the student unions further plan against petroleum price hike by the government, which went viral on social media. The online had also published refutation sent by Lama after she denied the accusation.

Threatening journalists to remove news by entering the newsroom and through the telephone is the severe breach of press freedom. Anyone has the right to complain about the news content to the concerned agencies or refute it, but harassing and threatening the journalist even after publishing the refutation is condemnable. This kind of incident discourages the journalist to write the news independently and increase in self-censorship among the journalist.

FF demands probe and action against the accused and make necessary arrangement for the environment of free and fair journalism in the country.

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

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