Freedom Forum is concerned over an incident where Raj Kumar Raut, a journalist from Kantipur Television, was barred from reporting news about Secondary Education Examination (SEE) in Sarlahi district on April 5. Sarlahi district lies in Province 2.
Security persons who were deployed in exam center not only barred journalist Raut from reporting but also snatched his camera and threatened not to capture the photos and video of the ongoing exam.
Questioning why they restricted journalist the reporting they said they were ordered by Chief District Officer, Rudra Prasad Pandit, not to allow journalists for exam reporting.
Freedom Forum's representative for Province 2, Rajan Singh, confirmed that in all exam centers, Chief District Officer Pandit had circulated a message not to allow journalists for reporting the SEE exam.
CDO’s message to bar journalists came in the wake of the news on last week’s question paper leak which had raised a question on irregularities in exam in Province 2.
Last week, science question paper was leaked a day before the exam in Saptari resulting in the postponement of the exam throughout Province 2. The same exam was re-conducted on April 5. Likewise, Social Studies question paper was also leaked in the same Province.
Barring journalists for free reporting in the name of news over question paper leak is sheer disrespect to media and violation of press freedom. FF urges the concerned authority to respect press freedom and journalists' right to free reporting. As journalists are exposing the wrongdoing and bringing it to light for future correction, they need to be allowed free reporting of the public events.
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