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Journalists intimidated, manhandled in far west

With the deadline to promulgate constitution (May 27) fast approaching in the country, people in various regions have mounted pressure programs in a bid to have their demands addressed in the new constitution.

But, the media persons have begun facing difficult moments while making news on such pressure programs and protests.

Demanding the present far western region to keep undivided while restructuring the country, the people in the region have continued banda (general shutdown) for two weeks.

With this, the demonstrators have intimidated journalists, ordering to write news in their favour- their protest, demand, and demonstration.

Talking to Media Monitoring Desk of the Freedom Forum, Tekendra Deuba, reporter with the Annapurnapost daily from Doti, said, "We are facing hard times because of the pressure by the demonstrators to write in their favour. The demonstrators have begun chanting slogans against media and journalists."

He added that the journalists were frightened to walk freely to cover news. There was security threat on them, according to him.

Prakash Bam, Tek Chanda and Karna Chanda of the local Triveni FM in Doti district were threatened recently why they did not write about protest.

Moreover, Mohan Sahi with the Kantipur daily was also intimidated in the same, Mr Deuba said.
Meanwhile, Nawaraj Khanal, reporter with the Mountain television from Kailali district, said he and Ranga Timalsina of the Dhangadhi Post daily and Devraj Joshi of the Swarnim Nepal weekly were manhandled by the demonstrators on May 9 in Dhangadhi bazaar in course of reporting on demonstration.

Freedom Forum is highly concerned other these incidents and urges the concerned administrations to provide ample security to the journalists and help protect and promote people's right to information.