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Press Freedom News

Police detain journalist Bhattarai

The District Police Office, Gorkha, has been keeping Bikash Bhattarai, a reporter with Janata TV from Gorkha district, in detention for eight days. He was arrested by the police, reasoning the 'high level order to arrest the cadres of the Biplav-led Maoist party.'

When Freedom Forum inquired the District Police Office, Gorkha, the Chief of the Police, informed that Bhattarai was detained because he was a the district committee member of the Biplav-led party. "The order from the 'high level' was that anyone belonging to the Bilav-led party should be detained for they were disrupting the election," he informed.

The government has kept the Biplav-led party's leaders and cadres under close observation, for the party has involved in the anti-election campaign.

Journalist Bhattarai was arrested from a place near the vote counting.

Nepal conducted the first round of local level election in 34 out of 75 districts on May 14, and the vote count is still continued in various places.

However, a reporter with the National News Agency (RSS) from Gorkha, Prasanna Pokharel, informed Freedom Forum that Bhattarai was arrested while he was reporting about vote counting.

He further said reporter Bhattarai was not involved in the political affairs but reporting on vote count.

Freedom Forum shows the concern over the arrest of journalist Bhattarai. As the two sides expressed contradictory views, FF explores further to ascertain whether Bhattarai was involved in political protest or news reporting. As the press freedom is the fundamental rights, the arrest if has breached his right is obviously the violation of press freedom.

Meanwhile, similar cases of arrest have been received by the FF and are under consideration to differentiate whether the arrests are the violation of freedom of expression and press freedom.


For more information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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www.nepalpressfreedom.org  www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Police person attacks reporter

A reporter working for the dudhauli khabar news portal, Rabindra Bhattrai, from Sindhuli district was attacked by a police person while reporting about counting of votes at Dudhauli Municipality. Sindhuli lies in Province 3 of Nepal.

During a telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, reporter Bhattrai explained, "On 15 May, around 4:00 pm, while I was at Dudhauli Municipality reporting live for the news portal the police person kicked me. My mobile set dropped and got damaged. I even got minor injury on my hand".

He, however, was able to protect his camera, added reporter Bhattrai.

Freedom Forum is seriously concerned over the incident of press freedom violation after the local level elections. During this period, free reporting is the prime right of the journalists. FF strongly urges the security agency to be aware of the journalists' rights and respect press freedom.


For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu 
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
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Police Person manhandles Photojournalist during election reporting

Nayapatrika daily's photojournalist Binod Bista was manhandled by Police during election in Lalitpur on May 14. Nayapatrika is a national daily published from Kathmandu.

In conversation with Freedom Forum, reporter Bista shared, "At 10:30 am, I reached the Lalitpur-based polling station of Phulchowki Secondary School for reporting on ongoing local level election. Meanwhile, the duty chief Sub-Inspector of Police (SI) stopped me on the gate and called election officer even after I showed him my Press Card. Although the election officer asked me to enter, the SI without his name plate again stopped me speaking foul on me."

"What is Press Card? I too have such card, so get out!" he then shouted, "I won't let you in even after the high level security allows you," said the SI to Bista, grabbing him by the arm.

Although a senior police officer Thule Rai had told Bista that he could report without any objection, SI's hostile attitude discouraged him to reporting.

Lalitpur's Chief District Officer has also been informed about the case.

Freedom Forum expresses serious concern over the incident of sheer violation of press freedom. A security person's disrespect towards working journalist indicates that media is still under threat. FF strongly urges concerned authorities to immediately address the incident and punish the violator as per law so as to ensure journalists right to free reporting.

 

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

   

Journalist taken under control over news

Police took under control Tilak Adhikari, reporter with local Janata Jindabad weekly published from Makwanpur on May 11. Makwanpur lies on the province 3 of Nepal.

Talking to Freedom Forum, reporter Adhikari shared, "At 2:00 pm, while I was preparing my news story at office, some 12-15 police persons in plain clothes approached me and said Police Inspector had called me to their office. I denied saying without any reason I won't go but they insisted and took me. Reaching the District Police Office, I asked Superintendent of Police (SP) why they had arrested me without warrant."

He further said that Police had arrested him over news stories published on local level election. Meanwhile, Chief District Officer did not know anything about arrest. At 4:00 pm, he was released from Police office.

Later, the same day, police persons reached his home at Makwanpur and tried to open the door lock forcefully.

Freedom Forum has serious concern over such incident of intimidation on journalist by security agency. Arresting and threatening journalists for baseless reason has violated press freedom and panicked journalist. Hence, FF urges the security agency to be aware of press freedom and journalists' right, which are essential need in democracy.


For More Information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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www.nepalpressfreedom.org  www.freedomforum.org.np

 

 

   

Concern over attacks on election campaigning

Freedom Forum has been concerned over the spate of threats and attacks on election candidates and on political rallies and programs in different parts of the country as the campaigning was going on for the local level election slated for May 14 (first round) and June 14 (second round).

Nepal is holding the local level election in 20 years gap. It is indeed a great democratic exercise to percolate democratic values in the local level, empower grassroots people, and stabilize the national politics.

The campaigning for and against any party and candidate are therefore the expression of people's interests and concern on the political agenda. Here, citizen's freedom of expression is equally important to their rights to vote to sustain democracy, and equal is the rights of any candidate to speak on the agenda before the voters.

Freedom Forum has been monitoring the attacks and threats on people and candidates in the rallies and programs.

Freedom Forum believes that the intimidation on the peaceful gathering by any side- be it an unknown gang or the rebel party groups- obstruct the freedom of expression.

Therefore, FF strongly condemns the threats and attacks on citizens and election candidates, which have violated their right to freedom of expression and of peaceful campaigning and assembly. The security agencies and administrations are urged to maintain security so that the election atmosphere fear-free. Equally, the political parties while exercising their rights should respect other's rights too.


For more information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu 
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www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org

 

   

Journalists threatened of lives over news in capital city

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the increasing number of death threats on journalists associated with the Kantipur daily over a news story.

The Kantipur daily is a leading newspaper published from different parts of the country, including capital city, Kathmandu.

On May 8, journalist Balram Baniya had published an analytical news story on his byline about government's decision of purchasing LED bulbs to address the load shedding.

In the news, he had argued that the government was planning to purchase bulbs on exorbitant price, and by bypassing the Public Procurement Act.

After the publication of the news, he received numerous threats of attack and of death especially from the social networking sites as Facebook and Twitter.

Posting Baniya's photo on Facebook, a person says, "If anyone finds this person, please finish him off."

After the newspaper published the follow up story carrying the byline of Baniya and his colleague Krishna Acharya later on May 12, both got threats over the Facebook and Twitter.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the incident, as it is the sheer violation of press freedom. The death threats being viral on social networking sites have panicked the journalists. FF strongly urges the concerned security authorities to stay informed of the situation to prevent attack on the journalists. Similarly, those labeling hasty threats are urged to respect journalists' right to free reporting. They can file complaint at the media content regulatory body if they have reservation on the news content.

 

For more information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

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www.nepalpressfreedom.org.np; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Police Officers manhandle reporters

Nuwakot's reporter with the Annapurna Post daily, Dev Chandra Bhatta, was manhandled by police officers while reporting on a vandalism of a microbus in front of the District Election Office, Bidur on May 9. Nuwakot, a hilly district lies in Province 3.

During a telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, reporter Bhatta shared,"While reporting about the vandalism on a bus (Ba 1 Ja 9084) which took place despite the presence of a dozen of police persons on duty in front of Election Office, two of the officers Sharada Kharel and Sushmita Shrestha seized my camera speaking foul words on me at 8:35 pm. They even threatened of smashing my camera if I took more pictures."

Even after identification, along with three more fellow journalists, namely Ramhari Gajurel (ratopati.com), Rakesh Dangol (Friends FM 90.9 MHz) and Jagadish Khanal (Radio Jalapa) were also manhandled the same night by police persons, said Bhatta, adding, "The police women might have been angry fearing the disclosure of their irresponsibility as the incident occurred despite their presence in the site."

A verbal complaint about the case was made with Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ganesh KC at Central Regional Police Office, Hetauda.

Freedom Forum is seriously concerned over such incidents of press freedom violations on the run up to the local level elections. During this period, free reporting is the prime right of the journalists. Hence, FF urges concerned authority to make the assailants aware of the journalists' rights.


For More Information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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

 

   

Death threat to journalist over news

Film journalist, Manish Dahal, was issued death threat by a person named Suresh Shrestha from Nepalgunj on May 6, over a news story where he wrote about a film, 'Premgeet'. He wrote the analytical story. The story was published on the Filmy Khabar news portal.

On a telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, journalist Dahal shared, “Within hours of news publication on film song, an unknown person named, Suresh Shrestha from Nepalgunj threatened me over phone."

"Over the phone, Shrestha said
either I should delete the news story or face the attack and death", added Dahal.


Journalist Dahal confirmed that the person, Suresh Shrestha, might have been used by some other person to issue the threat. He had even recorded the conversation between them.

A complaint has been lodged at the Police Station, Teku, informing about the threat.

Freedom Forum seriously condemns this incident which is sheer intimidation on journalists' right to free reporting. Hence, Freedom Forum strongly urges the concerned authority to be aware to prevent attack on journalist Dahal.


For More Information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

   

News portal asked to wipe out public poll

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the intimidation on a news portal to remove the public poll.

A noted news portal run from the capital city- www.setopati.com -was asked by the Election Commission to remove the public poll, arguing that it would affect the election code.

Chief Editor at setopati.com, Ameet Dhakal, confirmed that his media house had received the letter from the Election Commission on May 6.

Nepal is holding the local level election first time after 20 years. The first phase of the local election is scheduled for May 14 while the second phase on June 14. Freedom Forum welcomes this democratic exercise in a long gap.

Freedom Forum however condemns the letter from the Election Commission to the news portal, for it has violated the press freedom and citizen's right to freedom of expression. Media freedom can't be breached in the name of election code. Public poll in any media on any pertinent issue is a common practice. It helps bring citizen's voice to the front. Therefore, the Election Commission is urged not to control media, but respect press freedom and FoE.


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

 

   

Death threat to reporter over news

Nagarik daily's reporter, Shivahari Ghimire, was issued death threat by the President of Saraswati Community Forest Conservation Committee on May 3rd, the World Press Freedom Day, over a news story on massive illegal deforestation in Lalitpur. The story was published on 1 May in the Nagarik daily. Lalitpur is the district located in the southern belt of the Kathmandu Valley.

Talking to Freedom Forum, reporter Ghimire shared, “After two days of news publication on illegal deforestation, President of Community Forest Preservation Committee, Raj Kumar Shrestha and Lalitpur Forest Officer, Prem Chanda Shah, threatening me over phone."

“On May 6 as well, they called me on my mobile and said, "Either I should apologize for writing news against them or they won't spare me when I walk in Lalitpur area", he added.

Reporter Ghimire confirmed that the news was based on fact and investigation. But the Forest Office, Lalitpur, seems to be under pressure with this news and that’s why, they are denying the facts and trying to escape the news story in any means possible.

A complaint has been lodged at the Metropolitan Police Office, Kathmandu, informing about the threat.

Freedom Forum seriously condemns this incident which is sheer intimidation on journalists' right to free reporting. It is worrying that the government officials are not receptive to media freedom yet. Hence, Freedom Forum strongly urges the concerned authority to be aware to prevent attack on journalist Ghimire.


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

 

   

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