Government employees manhandled reporters with Deuti HD Television, Buddhisingh Thakuri, Navaraj Rokaya and cameraperson Bhim Pariyar while reporting in Surkhet on July 3. Surkhet lies in Karnali Province of Nepal.
Freedom Forum's representative for Karnali Province, Laxmi Bhandari, informed that the reporters were manhandled at the Office of the Valley Drinking Water Consumer's Committee while reporting on the illegal appointment of employees on the contract basis.
"Following the case filed by some members of the committee, the reporters had reached the office to inquire on the issue. But, instead of responding to their queries, Chairperson Kulmani Devkota including other staffs manhandled them", complained representative Bhandari, quoting reporter Thakuri.
The staffs not only threatened us but also attacked and tried to seize the camera. It is disappointing that we were attacked for trying to identify the fact behind the misconduct, shared reporter Thakuri according to Bhandari.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident as it is a gross violation of press freedom. Attacking and threatening reporters on duty is sheer intimidation of the free press and constitutionally guaranteed provisions of freedom of expression and right to information. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to respect the rights of journalists and ensure safe and free reporting atmosphere for journalists.
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