More than two dozen journalists were obstructed from reporting at Province 2 Assembly in Dhanusha today (January 17).
One of the journalists, Manika Jha, shared with Freedom Forum that total 30 journalists, including her, were protesting against the obstruction caused while reporting on the ongoing election to decide the capital of Province 2 in front of the Province Assembly house. The photojournalists present there have also put their cameras down.
"While we asked the reason for obstruction, one of the duty officers said that no journalists will be allowed to enter voting site due to the risk of transmission of coronavirus infection," said senior journalist at Annapurna Post national daily Jha adding, "we even requested them to let us enter one at a time but in vain. We have been here for more than three hours. This is absolutely against the democratic values and press freedom."
Freedom Forum condemns the incident as it is gross violation of press freedom. The assembly should have planned precautionary measures prior to the program and informed journalists rather than barring those from doing their job.
FF strongly urges the concerned authority to respect journalists' right to free press and ensure fair reporting atmosphere and citizen's right to information.
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