Two journalists, including Labadev Dhungana, a reporter for Kantipur Daily and Kumar Ojha, editor of the local Bartaman Samay Weekly have been displaced from Panchthar, an eastern district of Nepal, due to death threats allegedly issued by Unified CPN (Maoist)-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL).
Journalist duo left for Ilam on July 4, Saturday, citing insecurity in the district. Activists of Young Communist League (YCL) threatened to kill them time and again over the news published about them.
“YCL cadres took us into custody for over one-and-a-half-hours at their party office on June 27 and thrashed us,” the duo said. “We cannot stay in the district and continue our journalistic profession as the threat is not over yet.”
Efforts of the civil society, rights activists and journalists organization have failed to find a way out. “We tried to file a case at the District Police Office, but the DPO rejected it saying it was a political matter,” the victimised journalists said.
They had published news about the former rebels’ forcefully taking Rs 200,000 from a project last week. The victims said they were compelled to leave the district as the administration failed to provide them security. According to them, the Panchthar District Police Office refused to entertain a complaint against the guilty on Friday.
This is another incident of displacement of journalist resulted from the effect of news by Maoists. It once again revealed that the largest party of Nepal has not mended its way of gagging press. Freedom Forum urges the Maoist leadership to take immediate action against the perpetrators involved to force journalist to flee own working area.
Terming this incident a serious blow against press freedom, Freedom Forum deplores the tendency of harassing journalist at-work. The Forum demands the government to curb such anti-press incidents on rise in Nepal and bring guilty into justice.
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