(April 8, 2020)
Security officials deployed at District Administration Office obstructed journalists from reporting about health materials received from social service organization in Dhankuta on April 8. Dhankuta lies in Province 1.
Total seven journalists were barred from reporting. They were in the administration office premises for reporting about health materials provided to district health institutions.
The journalists Khagendra Prasad Ghimire, Kabi Raj Ghimire, Nagaendra Rai, Hari Bahadur Lamjel, Purna Kumar Chaudhari , Eshwor Thapa were associated with The Himalayan Times, Himalyan Television, The Dhankuta Herald Dainik, Annapurna Post, Radio Vedetaar and Radio Thaha Sanchar respectively.
As per FF's representative for Province 1, Bikram Niraula, journalists were not allowed to take photos and the journalists who captured photos were also asked to delete.
Meanwhile, journalist Khagendra Ghimire shared, ''We were insulted and even some of our colleagues were forcibly taken out of the office.''
Later, administration claiming not knowing about security officials obstruction apologized for showing cold behavior. Following that, dispute between journalists and administration was sorted out.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident as it is a sheer violation of press freedom. Obstructing journalists for reporting at this time of crisis is deplorable. Hence, FF urges concerned authority to respect journalists' right and also support them in course of reporting authentic information surrounding COVID-19 pandemic.
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