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Media Threatened, Death Threat on Journo, Newspapers Closed

With the deadline of the Constituent Assembly round the corner, various ethnic communities have piled up pressure on the political parties to address their identities in new constitution. Amidst this, some communities have emerged hostile to media.

Lately, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) threatened of boycotting media which write against federalism.

Submitting a memorandum to the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in the capital on May 13, 2012, the NEFIN accused the media of taking bribe and writing against ethnicity-based federalism.

It is a very new trend that media has been forced to give more priority to ethnic federalism ignoring others.

Although it is natural that media can be requested to raise the issues of public importance, such pressure to write one-sidedly is the violation of press freedom.

Also, it is the rights of media to make criticisms on any burning issues as federalism, ethnicity-based federalism, constitutional aspects and others.

Therefore, NEFIN's pressure is severe threat on media which have built background for future threat, attack or any on media and journalists in the country.

Freedom Forum condemns the undue intimidation on media by the NEFIN and urges it to respect people's and media rights to make criticism on any issue. Also, NEFIN needs to respect people's rights to freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, Dharminda Saha, a journalist in the far western region of Nepal-Dhangadhi- has been issued death threat by an unknown person over phone.

Reporter with the Samachar daily from Dhangadhi, Saha, was threatened of life asking her to stop writing against banda (general shutdown) in the night of May 12, 2012.

Moreover, Freedom Forum is concerned about the people being deprived of right to information as nearly a dozen of newspapers (daily and weekly) of Doti, Baitadi and Dadeldhura districts were closed down due to the shortage of printing papers and other materials triggered by the banda (general shutdown) continued in the far western region for over two weeks.

Reporter with the Annapurnapost daily from Dadeldhura, Tekendra Deuba, said various other newspapers might have closed down due to the banda.

The banda has been called in various parts of the country, including the capital, time and again raising the demands of concerned sectors/communities be met in new constitution as the deadline to promulgate constitution (May 27) is approaching rapidly.