Reporter with Dhangadhi-based Dinesh FM Narayan Awasthi received threats of attack through telephone for reporting news in Dhangadhi on December 11. Dhangadhi is situated in Sudurpaschim Province of Nepal.
According to Freedom Forum's representative Min Bam, news about a payment released without any work progress in the infrastructure development program led by Province's Assembly Member Nepalu Chaudhary was aired via FM radio on December 9.
Again on December 10, news claiming payments made on the basis of ‘only paper works’ in the area of Parliamentarian Chaudhary was published on www.dineshkhabar.com.
Following the publication of news, Ram Chandra Chaudhary calling himself a member of Municipality Committee Secretariat called on the phone and threatened Awasthi of physical assault using abusive words, said representative Bam.
Thereafter, Awasthi called Parliamentarian Chaudhary to inform him about the threat but the Parliamentarian in turn, replied that he deserves punishment for writing fake news and that he did not report in their favor.
However, FF has noted that reliable local sources have been quoted in the above-mentioned news.
Reporter Awasthi has informed local administration about the incident and is preparing to file a complaint against them, informed Bam.
Freedom Forum condemns the threat issued to journalist merely for doing his job. There are alternate ways to express dissatisfaction over news contents. Being a lawmaker, violating constitutionally guaranteed freedom of press and journalists' rights is intolerable. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to address the issue seriously and ensure safe reporting atmosphere for the journalists.
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