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Journalists attacked over political reporting

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over an attack on journalists for writing news on political party and election.

In the night of December 4, a group of political cadres and local leaders close to the Nepali Congress, attacked journalists Ram Kumar Elan, Ramesh Banjara and Krishna Saru Magar in Hetauda over the news story written on why a Nepali Congress party candidate got defeat in Hetauda district.

Publisher and editor of local Bagmati Express, Banjara had written a news analyzing why the Nepali Congress candidate lost the election to House of Representatives held in November 20.

Being irate over the news, the political cadres called the journalists yesterday night and beat them up. The journalists had to visit hospital for treatment as they got bruises. However, they escaped serious injury, according to Shubha Laxmi Bishwokarma, a reporter to the Annapurna Post daily from Makwanpur.

Bishwokarma further informed that the journalists were now lodging complaint at district police office.

It is gross violation of press freedom. Journalists have the constitutional right to free reporting. Press freedom is essential pillar of democracy. It shows the political cadres are hostile to journalists' rights and free press.

Freedom Forum condemns the attack because it has violated press freedom and questioned journalists' safety. If the concerned party cadres had any reservation to the news content, they could take alternative measure rather that resorting to physical attack on journalists. FF therefore strongly urges the local administration and security agency to investigate the case and bring to book the assailants.


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