Correspondents at Nagarik national daily Nagendra Upadhyaya and Annapurna Post national daily Bishnu Neupane received death threat for reporting rape allegations against political leaders in Surkhet today (August 23). Surkhet lies in Karnali Province of Nepal.
Talking to Freedom Forum, reporter Upadyay said that they had reported on a Province minister's alleged involvement in a rape case. “The news was published on August 22 newspapers after which the minister's personal secretary called on reporter's mobile phones and threatened to slit our throat at public place,” he shared.
A group of people also reached reporter Neupane's residence and threatened him and his family members. The victim women also warned the reporters that they would be the responsible for any untoward incident. They also attempted to vandalize a local Hamro Akhabar daily's office owned by reporter Upadhyay.
In addition to this, Minister's Press Advisor Nanda Kesh Adhikari wrote threatening statements on his social media page against both journalists which has panicked the joournalists.
However, Upadhyay said that they had neither disclosed her name in the news nor any other details as per the media ethics and the news content is based on the evidences provided to the media.
"They have also planned to organize a protest rally today and we are in fear of what next is going to happen", said Upadhyay.
Freedom Forum condemns the threat issued to the reporters for writing news. Being a state authority, minister's personal secretary should be aware of journalists' right to free and fair reporting. Moreover, there is a responsible body Press Council Nepal to address the complaints for any dissatisfaction over published news.
Hence, FF strongly urges the security agency to ensure adequate security to the panicked journalists.
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