Economic bureau chief at Himalaya Times national daily Lekhanath Pokharel received death threat for his reporting on May 15. The incident took place in the daily's office, Mid Baneshwor, Kathmandu.
Journalist Pokharel shared with Freedom Forum that a news about- alleged involvement of Rastriya Prajatantra Party's Dolakha President Rajan Shiwakoti in a financial fraud at Sindhujwala Hydropower Limited - was published on the daily on the day of incident.
"President Shiwakoti reached the office of the daily with two other people in the evening asked me whether I had written the news", said journalist Pokharel, “Then they started threatening me saying- Who is the news source? Should we file a case or what? or we also have goons, they will do something. I am also a journalist, I know how to write news,". He also accused me of making false allegations against him and issued death threat.
The news was based on complaint of the victim shareholders, according to Pokharel.
President Shiwakoti, however, refuted the news the next day and said to the daily that he was not involved in any financial activities of the hydropower since he left in 2019/20.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident. The President can approach the Press Council Nepal for any complaint over the published news content rather than intimidation. Threatening journalists inside the media house has panicked all journalists and media staffs. It is a blatant violation of press freedom.
Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to be aware to avoid any untoward incident against reporter and ensure safety of journalist.
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