Saturday, September 23, 2017
   
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Press Freedom News

Television reporter's camera seized, photos deleted while reporting election

Election officer forcefully grabbed the camera of Rautahat based- correspondent with Mountain Television Rakesh Yadav and deleted the pictures while reporting vote count on September 19. Rautahat lies in Province No 2 where third phase of local level poll has successfully concluded on September 18.

Talking to Freedom Forum, Reporter Yadav said, "The situation was tense at the place of vote count of Garuda Municipality following the dispute among political representatives. At 8:30 pm, when I reached the counting place, security officers did not let me enter. Then I started reporting from outside the room. Meanwhile, a woman Inspector asked me to shut the camera."

He further said, "I argued that I was taking pictures at other vote count places as well, then why not here! Thereafter, Assistant Election Officer approached me saying no one was allowed to click at vote counting center. But I did not stop reporting."

With this argument, Election Officer Nabin Kumar Joshi asked reporter Yadav to delete the pictures. He forcefully grabbed the reporter's camera and deleted all pictures.

Freedom Forum draws serious attention of the concerned authorities towards such hostile behavior of election officers on journalists. This is a sheer humiliation of journalist and violation of press freedom and citizen's right to information. As there is nothing to hide from media, the behavior of election officers to intimidate reporter was misuse of power and ignorance of press freedom. FF urges the concerned authority to pay a heed to free press, thus ensuring the atmosphere conducive for journalists at this prime time. 


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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Reporters denied entry into voting center for reporting

Reporter with www.onlinekhabar.com, online media, Krishna Sigdel was barred entry into polling center in Bara district today (September 18). Bara lies in the southern plains of province 2 in Nepal.

Today, Province 2 is holding the much awaited local level elections. So, the journalists are actively covering news of the gathering of voters, their mobility, and whether they have exercised their voting rights in peaceful atmosphere or not.

Diwakar Bhandari, Bara’s reporter for Annapurna Post said to Freedom Forum, “A dispute arose among the political representatives when one of the political representatives took a senior citizen to the booth for voting. Following the dispute, police officers stopped reporter Sigdel from reporting the incident.”

Thereafter, even Police Inspector denied to allow reporters entry into the polling centers.

Freedom Forum has serious concern over the incident. At a time, when Province 2 is holding election, a democratic exercise, free reporting and ensuring citizen’s access to information is of utmost value. Hence, concerned authorities should learn how to handle the situation and provide easy access to journalists for reporting.


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

 

   

Threat of life to media persons, foul words on journalists over Facebook

A local Padam Bhandari issued threat of life and spoke foul words against reporters at Dadeldhura based Radio Amargadhi 97.4 MHz on August 30 . Dadeldhura, a far-western district lies in Province 7 of Nepal.

Talking to Freedom Forum’s Media monitoring desk, News chief at Radio Amargadhi Ram Dhami said, “Immediately after news story ‘Locals bound to risky travel’ was published on www.radioamargadhi.org, Bhandari reached the radio’s office, issued death threat and spoke foul on the reporters. He even wrote abusive words on his Facebook status addressing all the journalists in Dadeldhura district”.

After Bhandari wrote foul words against journalists on his Facebook, many persons followed the suit.

Meanwhile, journalists from different media, Ram Dhami, Chhatra Saud, Maan Bahadur Saud, Baburam Shrestha, Barun Paneru, Tek Raj Awasthi, Madan Raj Bhatta, Karam Tamrakar and Pushkar Bhandari jointly filed a case against Bhandari and other locals commenting abusive under the same status under Some Public Offence and Punishment Act at District Police Office Dadeldhura on August 31.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns such behavior of locals against media persons. Had they any problem regarding news content, they could resort to taking appropriate measure as showing concern with the media or move the Press Council Nepal. The threat is therefore a sheer violation of press freedom.

 

   

Freedom Forum alarmed over a case filed against Nagarik daily for covering news on financial irregularities

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the news that Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the sole body responsible for dealing with petroleum products in Nepal, has filed a case against the Nagarik daily after the daily brought into light huge financial irregularities rife in the NOC.

As the Nagarik daily states, it was sued of ‘defamation case by Managing Director of NOC, Gopal Khadka, claiming Rs 800 million in damages.

The sister publication of the Nagarik daily, the Republica stated on September 1 edition as “Court officials served  notice of the defamation petition filed by Khadka on August 17 at Kathmandu District Court, to Nepal Republic Media (NRM) Thursday. The petition has named NRM Managing Director Binod Raj Gyawali, Director Shobha Gyawali, Nagarik Daily Editor-in-Chief Guna Raj Luintel and correspondent Dilip Paudel as defendants and claimed Rs 200 million from each in compensation. This is probably the biggest defamation case against any publication house in terms of the amount of compensation claimed.”

Both the Nagarik and Republica dailies were making a series of investigative stories on the corruption involved in the procurement of land by NOC in various parts of the country. The dailies were publishing the stories based on the findings of the probe committees of the Legislature Parliament and the surveillance kept on by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, and anti-graft body.

“Khadka in his petition argued that instead of rewarding him for the good work he had tried to do, his image was tarnished by the defendants. He claimed that he was insulted by the running of stories on multi-million misappropriations involved in the procurement of land meant for building NOC storage depots,” Republica made elaborate.

Executive Chief of Freedom Forum, Taranath Dahal, observed, “Filing a case of defamation by NOC Chief merely because of the revelation of huge financial irregularities plaguing the NOC has panicked the concerned media and journalists creating self-censorship. Self-censorship is detrimental to press freedom, and where the press freedom is suppressed, democracy is not functional.”


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

 

   

Threat of life to media persons, foul words on journalists over Facebook

A local Padam Bhandari issued threat of life and spoke foul words against reporters at Dadeldhura based Radio Amargadhi 97.4 MHz on August 30 . Dadeldhura, a far-western district lies in Province 7 of Nepal.

Talking to Freedom Forum’s Media monitoring desk, News chief at Radio Amargadhi Ram Dhami said, “Immediately after news story ‘Locals bound to risky travel’ was published on www.radioamargadhi.org, Bhandari reached the radio’s office, issued death threat and spoke foul on the reporters. He even wrote abusive words on his Facebook status addressing all the journalists in Dadeldhura district”.

After Bhandari wrote foul words against journalists on his Facebook, many persons followed the suit.

Meanwhile, journalists from different media, Ram Dhami, Chhatra Saud, Maan Bahadur Saud, Baburam Shrestha, Barun Paneru, Tek Raj Awasthi, Madan Raj Bhatta, Karam Tamrakar and Pushkar Bhandari jointly filed a case against Bhandari and other locals commenting abusive under the same status under Some Public Offence and Punishment Act at District Police Office Dadeldhura on August 31.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns such behavior of locals against media persons. Had they any problem regarding news content, they could resort to taking appropriate measure as showing concern with the media or move the Press Council Nepal. The threat is therefore a sheer 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

   

Reporters issued threat of attack in Kathmandu

 

Reporters with Nayapatrika daily, Umesh Poudel and Janardan Baral, were issued threats of attack over the news the daily published on September 11 Kathmandu. Kathmandu, the capital city lies in Province No 3 of Nepal.

Talking to Freedom Forum, Nayapatrika's bureau chief Janardan Baral said, "Before publishing the news on 'Networking business fraud through gravity currency ', I called Gyan Prasad Poudel to put his quote in the news but he threatened me not to publish the news. However, the news was published; thereafter he called Umesh Poudel by mobile at 7:30 am and threatened of using his power and connections even from 'high-level security officials' to attack them."

Gyan Prasad Paudel is a marketing chief of the networking business which is illegal in Nepal.

Again, few minutes later a person named Jitendra (saying himself a party cadre) called on my mobile and threatened, "I do not know what news you have published but GP Poudel has filed a case against journalists. So why did you write the news about him?"

The journalists complained at the Police office and provided the mobile numbers of those issuing threats of attack.

Freedom Forum condemns threats issued to working journalists over the news reporting. It is a gross violation of press freedom. Exposing illegal activities going on in society is the duty of professional journalism. Hence, FF urges concerned authority to take immediate action on the perpetrators and help ensure free and fair atmosphere of reporting for journalists. The police official must stay informed to obviate any untoward incident against the reporters.


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 intimidation in media house

Police persons suddenly entered the office of an online news portal—newsabhiyan.com—in Kathmandu in order to ‘enquire about the proof and news content’ published on the portal on August 5, 2017. Kathmandu is the capital city and lies in Province 3 of Nepal.

Immediately after the incident, Editor-In-Chief Chhaya Chandra Bhandari informed Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk saying, "I had been continuously publishing news about the irregularities by anti-graft body CIAA chief on the news portal.  In this context, today Police Inspector Hari Bahadur Basnet and Sub-Inspector of Police Kishor Karki in plain clothes suddenly visited the office and asked why I wrote such news. They asked to disclose the proof and source of the news."

After 25 minutes, they left the office, informed Bhandari adding that he expressed concern with senior police official.

Freedom Forum condemns the intimidation the police had on a news portal. If the police had any concern on the content of the news they could complain at the Press Council Nepal, but barging the media house is the violation of press freedom.

Such activities are intended to panic journalists which does not suit in a democratic country. Free media is essential to protect democratic values. So, the security agency must realize that they respect free press.


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 persons manhandle female reporter

Freedom Forum's stringer for Province 4, Rajan Upadhyaya, reported that Pokhara's correspondent with online news portal sancharkendra.com, Astha Nepali, was manhandled by police persons while reporting on August 5, 2017. Pokhara lies on province 4 of Nepal.

Quoting reporter Nepali, stringer Upadhyaya said, "Reporter Nepali was manhandled by the police persons while taking pictures and video of a dispute between police and businesspersons that broke after a theft in a market even under police security. Police Inspector Basanta Sharma leading the team tried to grab the camera of reporter forcefully for taking video."

Despite sporting her press card, some women police said that ‘they did not care whoever she was’, added stringer quoting reporter Nepali.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Khadka Bdr. Khatri at District Police Office Kaski, however, said that he would further investigate into the case.

After 2 days,  Police Inspector Basanta Sharma apologized for his behavior towards the reporter in Pokhara.

During a meeting held among journalists and police persons on August 8, Police Inspector apologized in front of reporter Nepali realizing his mistake.

Thereafter, reporter Nepali also informed that she was ready to end the dispute thus, acknowledging the apology and further suggested to be aware not to repeat such behavior in future.

Freedom Forum though, appreciates the apology from Police person however, condemns the incident as it is a gross violation of press freedom. Despite continuous prodding to the security agency to be aware of journalists’ rights to free reporting, they have been hostile to journalists. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority again realize the value of journalism for functional democracy where freedom of expression and information is protected.

 

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

   

High level official issues threat of attack on journalist over reporting of financial irregularities in Kathmandu

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the threat of physical attack by a high level official on a reporter in the capital city, Kathmandu, for writing a news story about the irregularities.

Gopal  Bahadur Khadka, Executive Director at Nepal Oil Corporation, the sole body to import and distribute petroleum products and regulate its supply, issued threat of attack on Dilip Poudel, reporter to the Nagarik daily, over the news of financial irregularities in the purchase of land by the NOC on August 4.

Quoting reporter Poudel, FF's Stringer at Province No 3 and the Poudel's colleague, Ashok Dahal said, "Being angered after the disclosure of irregularities with the news, NOC Executive Director Khadka threatened of finishing Poudel's journalism career."

"You also may have your family. Don't you need their protection," said Executive Director Khadka to reporter Poudel on the office premises of the NOC Office. Reporter Poudel had reached the NOC to collect follow up news on the land purchase.

Two weeks back, reporter Poudel had disclosed that Rs 670 million could have been embezzled in the purchase of land by NOC.

The incident shows how horrible the atmosphere is for the reporters who write investigative news- the news on irregularities and corruption in Nepal! Reporter Poudel was threatened in the NOC premises, which signals the journalists are unsafe even within the capital city.

Freedom Forum strongly condemns the incident for it is the gross violation of press freedom. The local authority is urged to remain informed to prevent any untoward incident against reporter Poudel. Also the high level officials must recognize the value of press freedom and respect journalists' rights to free reporting.


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

   

Reporters barred from entering Sajha Publications for reporting

Journalists Bishnu Aryal of Republica daily and Basanta Khadka of Nagarik daily were barred from entering the office of the State-owned Sajha Publications on July 25, following their reporting which exposed huge financial irregularities done by General Manager and Chairman of the Publications Dolindra Prasad Sharma.

Office security guard at the Sajha Publications barred Aryal and Khadka from going inside the office reasoning the order from the General Manager Sharma, while they were visiting the office for follow up of their news reporting.

Aryal and Khadka said the gatekeeper told them that GM Sharma had ordered him not to allow any journalists in the office.

Earlier, the two journalists had published news exposing huge irregularities at Sajha Publications and involvement of GM Sharma.

However, Sharma told the newspaper later he had not directed the guards to bar journalists from entering the Sajha Publications.

The incident shows how the journalists reporting the investigative cases as of irregularities and corruption face obstructions.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident as it is sheer violation of press freedom. The Publication is strongly urged to respect the rights of journalists for free reporting and apologize for the incident.


For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
4-102030, 4-102022
www.freedomforum.org.np; www.nepalpressfreedom.org
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