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Mayor threatens journalist of physical assault over news reporting 

Reporter at www.onlinekhabar.com Shailendra Mahato was issued threat of attack for news reporting critical to the Mayor of Bideha Municipality, Dhanusha on December 30, 2022. Dhanusha lies in Madhesh Province of Nepal.

The incident took place during oath taking ceremony of newly elected province assembly members. Reporter Mahato shared with Freedom Forum that he was there to report on the ceremony along with 3 to 4 fellow journalists.

Meanwhile, Mayor Das told reporter Mahato that there were 4 to 5 journalists including Mahato who should be taught lesson. Reporter Mahato further said that Mayor Das shouted and threatened,"You have written news defaming me so you are the first in position to get lesson. Someday, when you come in municipality office I will kick and break your bones."

Moreover, the Mayor continued, "If I cannot do that, I will use some women or other people but I will not spare you, I would rather go to jail", according to reporter Mahato.

Journalists in Madhesh Province have submitted a memorandum to the Chief District Officer to take immediate action against Mayor Das.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident. Threatening journalists for their news either in person or in public is a blatant violation of press freedom. Mayor holds a public post who should also be responsible for the safety of journalist, but such threat of physical assault is alarming and deplorable.

Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to respond to the memorandum submitted by the fellow journalists and avoid possible untoward incidents against journalists. 

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Freedom Forum