Police officers obstructed three journalists from reporting in Jhapa on April 19. Jhapa lies in the Koshi Province of Nepal.
Journalists Chiranjibi Ghimire (Nayapatrika National daily), Bishnu Prasad Pokharel (Gorkhapatra National daily) and Sudeep Adhikari (HImshikhar TV) were barred from reporting the ongoing protest in Om Mechi Hospital, Jhapa.
As a woman died during her delivery, her families staged a protest for alleged carelessness of medical professionals during her treatment. On the day of incident, hospital administration and victim families held discussion upon the case to stop the protest.
The journalists reached the site to report on the protest and ongoing discussion but the police officer on-duty stopped and asked them to return back.
"We showed them our press identity cards and requested but in vain. Even the public demanded that journalists should be present in the discussion and make the information public. But the police officers did not let us enter. One of the officer also pushed back reporter Ghimire. Till today (April 21), we donot have any official information," shared one of the journalists Bishnu Pokharel with Freedom Forum.
"Mayor of Damak Municipality also ordered the police officers not to let the reporters enter the place", said journalist Pokharel.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident as it is violation of press freedom. Obstructing journalists from reporting is against journalists' right to free reporting and also serious violation of citizen's right to information. FF strongly urges the concerned authority to respect journalists' right and ensure free reporting atmosphere in future.
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