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Journalists Misbehaved, Newspapers Burnt

Freedom Forum's attention has been drawn towards an anti-press incident occurred at Thamel in the Capital on May 29, 2011.

Deputy Superintendent of Police at Crime Investigation Division in the Capital, Hridaya Thapa roughed up journalists, seized their camera and tried to delete the clips while they were making reports about the abduction of an American national from a hotel at Thamel.

DSP Thapa misbehaved with reporter of the Himalayan Television, Madhusudan Rayamajhi; cameraperson Sushil Baskota and reporter of the Avenues Television Bijay Regmi, according to reporter Regmi. He added that DSP Thapa barred the journalists entering the place of abduction and said-'Why do journalists need news before police investigation?

Freedom Forum condemns the incident as the responsible body of the State to ensure free press was itself involved in the activities against free press. Therefore, the Freedom Forum demands the State to urge the responsible bodies not to repeat such behaviour.

Similarly, Freedom Forum was concerned over another anti-press incident occurred at Kotihawa of Rupandehi on May 20, 2011.
The cadres of Brahmin Society who called the banda (general strike) in Dhaulagiri, Lumbini and Gandaki zones burnt down the national daily newspapers-Nagarik and Republica, demanding to write news in favour of banda.
According to driver Durga Poudel, the banda organizers stopped the vehicle (Ba 1 Cha 1043) carrying newspapers and burnt down 200 copies of newspapers.

Similarly, District Chairman of the YCL, a sister organization of the UCPN-Maoist in Rasuwa, Meghanath Ghimire burnt down a weekly newspaper, Rasuwa Khabar Patrika published from the district situated in hilly region of the central region in the country on May 16 over the news published in the weekly.

Publisher of the weekly, Hemnath Khatiwada said the YCL chair in the district burnt down the paper saying the news was false. However, the news story was true, Khatiwada.

Freedom Forum condemns both incidents and strongly urges the State to bring the perpetrators to book so as to uphold the free press and protect people's right to information. Similarly, the Maoist which is the biggest political party in the country should teach its cadres mend its ways.