Freedom Forum is concerned over threat issued to journalist Dil Bahadur Chhatyal by the Far West Province government's spokesperson and Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Prakash Bahadur Shah. The incident occurred on August 10.
Journalist Chhatyal is the bureau chief of Nagarik daily in the Far West Province.
According to FF's representative for far-western province, Min Bam, Minister Shah threatened journalist Chhatyal for writing news about financial irregularities on Kailali's Haraiya land case.
Further, Minister Shah said that the news was published to tarnish the image of the government and it was not good for journalist to publish such news.
Minister Shahi said this when Chhatyal had called to Minister Shah to collect information about the provincial government's upcoming programs and expenditure. But, Minister Shahi aggressively talked with journalist and threatened not to write news against government.
Prior to this, Nagarik daily had published news about Kailali's haraya land issue.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident as it is against journalist right to report on issues of public concern. Issuing a threat to the journalist by the Minister while collecting information for news is condemnable. It is a sheer violation of press freedom. The free press is the pillar of democracy, but threatening journalist for writing news by the Minister warrant attention that the government does not like to see any news that is not favorable to it and keep journalists under control.
FF strongly urges the concerned authority to and ensure safe environment for reporting.
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