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Newspaper Office Vandalized; Journo made Captive and Issued Death Threat

Freedom Forum has been concerned over an incident of press freedom violation occurred in capital city, Kathmandu, on September 4, 2011.

A group of unidentified persons come on five motorcycles entered the office of the Naya Patrika national daily at Kamalpokhari, searched editor and began vandalizing randomly.

According to Deputy General Manager of the national daily, Bharat Pokharel, nine unknown persons barged into the office at 10:30am, snapped the telephone wire, smashed computer and broke editor's desk, other furniture and window pane over a crime news the paper published the same day. The paper had published the news - 'Three held with sword' on its third page.

Luckily, no editors were there during the vandalism.

The incident shows the media in the country is not spared even in the capital city where people expect better rule of law, and order. Similarly, it has created terror among the journalists that they are bound to work in an insecure atmosphere thereby practicing self-censorship. The recurring incidents of press freedom violation have badly afflicted the journalists and civil society. As a result, the empowerment of the media person and civil society is lagging behind.

Meanwhile, Freedom Forum grew concerned over another incident occurred in Jhapa district on September 3, 2011.

According to District Chairman of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Ganesh Pokharel, journalist Paras Timsina was taken under control by two unidentified persons come on a motorcycle from a local Birta bazaar of Jhapa district. They took Timsina blindfolded toward an undisclosed location, made a captive for two hours and released him by threatening him of killing within two hours if he wrote news about abduction.

They said to scribe Timilsina, "You are a journalist and write news. You have hindered our works. If you continue writing news here on, you will be finished off within two hours of news writing."

It shows the incidents of press freedom violation are increasing as there is no ample security to the journalists. As a result, the journalists and civil society are not only agitated but forced to live in fear and terror. A greater role of police administration and the government is the urgent need to protect and promote media freedom and people's right to information.

So, Freedom Forum urges the government to create safe and secure environment for the media persons to carry out their works so as to protect people's right to information.