Friday, July 21, 2017
   
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Press Freedom News

Local level representatives manhandle reporter

Reporter with Kantipur daily, Anish Tiwari, was manhandled by local level representatives while reporting at Sindhupalchowk on July 19. Sindhupalchowk is a neighbouring district to Kathmandu and lies in Province 3 of Nepal.

Talking to Freedom Forum, reporter Anish Tiwari shared, "I was at a program organized by Rural Women Creative Family at the office of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality. During the program, municipality's elected member Ram Man Singh shouted at me saying 'without writing news what I was looking at.' I answered that he should not teach me anything as I was working in journalism for some years."

He further said, "Again, Bhotekoshi's rural municipal chief Dipendra Kumar Shrestha accused all the journalists including me of writing news by taking bribes. Again I replied him that he could not blame all the journalists on the basis of some foul cases. Then he again shouted,"Ok, I will see what you will write in the news and spoke foul on me."

However, other leaders apologized to me on their behalf, informed Tiwari.

Freedom Forum condemns such behavior of an elected member with journalists. Local level representatives should be responsible and accountable towards media freedom and citizen's right to information. Speaking foul on reporters not only discourages them but also create atmosphere for them to practice self-censorship, which is against press freedom.

Freedom Forum strongly urges the concerned representatives to be aware of the media role to boost freedom of expression and information in  a democracy.


For More Information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Media person threatened of attack; Media house attacked

A group of drunk locals threatened and attempted to attack senior journalist Sarpa Lal Giri on July 13 at 6:00 pm in Bajura. Journalist Giri is editor/ publisher of Bajura Aawaj weekly and chairperson of Bajura- based Radio Budinanda 96.5 Mhz. Bajura, a far-western district lies in Province No 7 of Nepal.

During a conversation with Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk, journalist Giri said, " It was Thursday evening, I was on the phone, a group of 8 to 10 drunk local men encircled me chanting- it's time to flog journalists, so we will finish you off today. I urged them to release me but they did not; later locals aggressively attacked upon them. Then, they ran away and I was safe."

Immediately after that, a person named Gokarna Giri shouted saying he would kill me, added Giri.

Following this incident, some local political cadres attacked a Radio Budinanda 96.5 Mhz on July 14 (Friday) at 11:00 pm.

Talking to Freedom Forum, Radio's Managing Director Anil Shahi said, "While all our staffs were about to close the station and leave for home, a group of Nepali Congress party cadres started throwing stones on the building. Even though we escaped major injuries, station's electric circuit has been damaged. Hence, the station is closed."

"A complaint has been lodged in the nearby police station, but the perpetrators have not been arrested yet. Now, I am going to meet Deputy Superintendent of Police to urge him accelerate the investigation," added Shahi.

Due to the attack, media house suffered loss of around Rs 300,000  thus, affecting 11 media persons working there.

On FF's question about the reason for attack, journalist Giri said that the place was always hostile to media; hence this is conspiracy to suppress the media and keep under control.

Freedom Forum draws serious attention of concerned authorities about the attack on media house as well as media persons. FF therefore strongly urges concerned authorities to immediately arrest the attackers and take action to protect press freedom and reduce impunity.


For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Unknown gang attack reporters

District Reporter of Bajura with Image Television, Chakka Bahadur Malla was attacked by an unknown gang on 13th July (Thursday) while returning home in the headquarter Martadi at 2:30 pm. Bajura district lies in Province 7 of Nepal.

In a conversation with Freedom Forum, Malla said, “While I was returning home from Bajura's headquarter Martadi after a meeting with municipality and election officers, a group of 15-20 persons came all of sudden and attacked me. Meanwhile, when I tried to escape myself and run across, the attackers hit on my head and different parts of my body."

According to Malla, the gang was under the leadership of a person named, Nar Bahadur Raut, who usually threaten and torture the locals of Bajura. He also confirmed that he doesn’t have any personal grudges with the gang at all. Even after, showing the identity card the gang did not stop, added Malla.

Along with Malla, some locals and municipality officers were also trapped by the gang.

Afterwards, he had even lodged a complaint at the Metropolitan Police Office, Bajura, informing about the incident and the gang has been arrested as well.

Similarly, in a separate incident, correspondent with Radio Paurakhi 90.4 broadcast from Bajura Devendra Nath was pelted stones by unknown group while reporting on vote counting on 30th June (friday).
"

A group of locals threw stones on me outside the vote counting site, however, despite some minor injuries nothing major happened. Later, the attackers apologized for attack." shared the reporter.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the attack on journalist. Attack on a journalist merely because of their profession -their right to free reporting- is a serious concern. It is a sheer violation of press freedom. FF urges the concerned bodies to investigate into the case and respect journalists' right to free reporting. The local authorities must stay informed to provide security by obviating further attack.


For More Information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Media persons barred from entering TU stadium for reporting

Senior reporters with Janata television Madan Dhungana and Suman Chapagain along with two camera persons were denied entrance into TU stadium on 2 July, over the news on match fixing the television broadcast on 30 June (Friday).

During a conversation with Freedom Forum, News coordinator of Janata TV, Ram Kumar Elan,  said, “Despite pre-information about their plan to stop our reporters at the gate of stadium because of the news broadcast two days ago, our senior reporters Madan Dhungana and Suman Chapagain with two camera persons reached TU stadium at 11 am. But they were not allowed to enter the premises for reporting as expected.”

He added that the organizers seemed to be nervous after the news on match fixing broadcast on Janta TV two days ago. At the same time, National Sports Council's Member-Secretary Keshav Bista tried to convince the organizer but they did not allow entry.

Freedom Forum condemns the restriction imposed on journalists' right to free reporting. Media persons have right to carryout fair and unbiased reporting; denial of their entry because of the news is violation of press freedom. Hence, the concerned authority must realize the mistake and respect press freedom.

For More Information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Another convict of Singhaniya's murder sent to custody

Impunity Update

District Court Dhanusha remanded Pawan Lama, another conflict on the murder of media entrepreneur Arun Singhaniya to custody for investigation on July 7.

Accomplice Pawan Lama was ordered of custody in Jaleshwor by a single bench of Judge Keshav Prasad Adhikari.

Other convicts Sanjay Kumar Saha, Manak Lama, Chandra Deep Yadav, and Ek Lal Sahani have been serving their jail terms after court's order since April 2016.

Singhaniya was shot dead at a local Shiva Chowk of Janakpur in March 1, 2010 over the publication of a news story on crime in his media. He was the Chairperson of Janakpur Today Communications Group in Janakpur, a city in the southern plains of Nepal.

On March 30, the District Police Office, Dhanusha, had filed a case against 11 along with the mastermind Saha. Hence, remaining five among the convicts are yet to be booked.

Freedom Forum appreciates the legal action though late, which has not only brought the criminals to book but also helped ensure justice to the victim family. This signifies that impunity relating to crimes against media persons is being addressed gradually.

 

For More Information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

 

   

Reporters denied entry in vote counting places

Journalists from different media houses were barred from entering the vote counting places thereby hindering the factual reporting on the ongoing vote count of the second phase of local election in Bhojpur on June 29, a day after the voting.

During a telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, Kantipur television reporter from Bhojpur, Kiran Rai, said, “When we (a reporter each from Kantipur daily, Nagarik daily, Annapurna Post daily, Naya Patrika daily and Ujjyalo online) went to collect news on the vote count of local elections from the office of the Chief Election Officer, Bhojpur, we were not allowed to enter the counting area. The security persons did not allow us enter there."

Moreover, Chief District Officer Gomadevi Chemjong told the reporters not to enter the counting room and nor they could take any photos because, she argued, the administration was asked to do so from the top officials.

Similarly in a separate incident, media persons along with election observers were denied entry to vote counting premises on July 1 in Nawalparasi, 3 days after the local level election.

Talking to Freedom Forum, Vijay FM 101.6 MHz's editor-in-chief Dhrubamani Poudel said, "Due to a dispute among political representatives, vote counting process stopped for almost 3 hours in the office of Bardaghat Municipality. After that, showing security reasons election officers, barred us (ten media persons from -Gorkhapatra, Daunne FM, Butwal Today, Suanaul FM, Triveni Tv, Vijay FM and other local media) from entering the premises. However, reporters with Radio Nepal and National News Agency (RSS) were given access to the site. "

"Hence, we have to rely upon the update almost 4-5 hours late and we had no choice", added Poudel. They even requested with Assistant Chief District Officer Madhab Prasad Dhungana but he did not respond to problem reasoning it’s the responsibility of election officers.

Freedom Forum condemns the obstruction the reporters faced while reporting. The security and the CDO's barring of journalists indicate that journalists are not allowed free reporting on the pressing event. The concerned authority must realize the mistake and respect press freedom.
As the vote counting is the concern of larger audience and the counting place is the public one, barring reporters from entering it was illogical, and the violation of press freedom.

 


For More Information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

 

   

Police release editors Bhandari, Bhatta after a day: update

With mounting concern from the media fraternity and organizations as Freedom Forum, editors duo Khem Bhandari and Ganesh Dutta Bhatta associated with the Manaskhanda daily were released from the detention of District Police Office, Dhangadi, on Sunday (June 18) evening.

Police had arrested publisher and editor Bhandari at 12:00 noon and executive editor Bhatta at 3:00 pm on June 17, while both of them were released at 6:00pm on June 18.

Talking to FF after the release, editor Bhandari said that Police released them, saying they did not find any proof to sue them under Some Public Offence Act, as they had claimed of over the news publication.

The arrest of Bhandari and Bhatta had agitated and affected 32 journalists (seven at Manaskhanda and 25 in the district).

Due to the arrest, the daily newspaper printed 3,500 copies a day, could not be published for two days.

Responding to FF's question: What was the news that prompted security to hold them, editor Bhandari said, "On June 11, we had published a news story that police arrested two women hoteliers barring them from going to home in the late evening."

The police had arrested the editors for investigation after a complaint was filed against them at District Police Office. The complaint was lodged by the family of the arrested women hoteliers.

In the complaint, the applicant argued that the news hurt social life of his daughter and sister.

Bhandari is the former chair of Minimum Wages Fixation Committee.

Freedom Forum again condemns the arrest of the journalists merely for writing news. The police arrested the journalists as if they were criminals. If anyone has the complaint about news, he/she can complain it at Press Council Nepal.

Similarly, the invocation of the Some Public Offence Act by the police in this case is the gross misuse of the authority.


For More Information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Police arrest journalists Bhandari, Bhatta over news

The District Police Office (DPO) Kanchanpur arrested senior journalists in the district- Khem Bhandari and Ganesh Dutta Bhatta-on June 17 merely for publishing news, informed Freedom Forum's stringer in Province No 7, Mr DR Pant.

Bhandari is the publisher and editor of the Bhimduttanagar-based Manaskhanda daily while Bhatta, the executive editor.

Stringer Mr Pant added that police arrested Bhandari and Pant for the investigation under the Some Public Offence and Punishment Act.

A complaint was lodged by the family of Puja Nath and Kanchan Nath of Shuklaphanta municipality.

Some days back, the daily had published the news about the arrest of Puja and Kanchan stating that they were detained by the police for creating commotion in public on alcoholic stupor and they were to be tried under the Public Offence Act.

Khemraj Nath, the father of Kanchan had filed the complaint against the daily for 'hurting' social life of his daughter and sister with the publication of the news about their arrest.

Bhandari is the former chair of Minimum Wages Fixation Committee.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the arrest of the journalists merely for writing news. The police arrested the journalists as if they were criminals. If anyone has the complaints about news, he/she can complain it at Press Council Nepal.

Similarly, the invocation of the Some Public Offence Act by the police in this case is the gross misuse of the authority.

Freedom Forum therefore strongly urges Nepal Police to immediately release the journalists unconditionally.


For more information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Photojournalists mistreated and threatened of attack

A team of photojournalists namely, Ratna Krishna Shrestha and Ramesh Giri with the National News Agency (RSS), and Leela Shrestha from Kantipur daily, Sudip Kumar Poudel from Medianp news portal and Nabin Adhikari from Online khabar news portal and Barsha Shah with the currentnewsnepal news portal were manhandled on June 10 by the locals while collecting news about the diversion of Hanumante River flowing through Madhyapur Thimi municipality-3 and Suryabinayak municipality 3 on 10 June. Madhyapur Thimi is in the Kathmandu Valley.

A group of local people manhandled the photojournalists while they were taking photographs of the local people's efforts to change the course of the River.

During a conversation with Freedom Forum, journalist Ratna Shrestha said, "While we were capturing the pictures of river diversion, a group came approached us, manhandled and spoke foul words. They even asked who we were. They even threatened us saying, if the news story was published then they would be responsible for the further circumstances."

Freedom Forum condemns the misbehavior meted out and threat issued against the journalists. Such treatment with the journalists merely because of their profession even in the presence of security persons in the capital city draws a serious concern. It is a sheer violation of press freedom. The local people must be aware the media persons have the right to free reporting and it should not be obstructed.


For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
4102030, 4102022
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.nepalpressfreedom.org
www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Teachers attack radio journalist, vandalize media house in Humla

A journalist with the Radio Karnali Awaz, Arjun Bohara, was attacked by a group of teachers in the night of June 8. Radio Karnali is broadcasted from Humla which lies in Province 6 of Nepal.

Talking to Freedom Forum's stringer in Province No 6, Laxmi Bhandari, reporter Bohara describes the incident as, "It was 9:55pm. I was ready to close the office after the airing hour was over. All of a sudden a group of five school teachers barged into the office and began vandalizing the assets in the technical room. The drunken teachers not only smashed computer, laptop and printer, but also beat me."

He added that Netra Bahadur Shahi, teacher at a local Man Sarobar Secondary School, hit him on the head with an iron rod causing injury. However, he escaped the major injury in the attack.

The Karnali Awaj further informed that Shahi's team included Paljor Lama, Resham Raj Rokaya, Nara Bohara and Hira Bohara.

Journalist Bohara argued that he might be attacked because of the news the FM radio aired on the irregularities in the construction activities. However, the attackers, as he said, were blaming the FM radio of not paying the teachers running an educational program for students focused on exam preparation in the radio.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident which is a gross violation of press freedom. The incident depicts how hostile the atmosphere is for the Nepali media. The concerned local authorities including the security offices need to bring the assailants to book. Despite being aware people, teachers attacked the media, which is quite abhorring one. They must be aware about the value of press freedom for informed citizenry and the democracy.

Also, if there was any disagreement on the payment, it could be solved internally, rather than attacking the journalist.

For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
4102030, 4102022
www.nepalpressfreedom.org
www.freedomforum.org.np
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