Freedom Forum has been gravely concerned over the death threat a senior police officer issued on journalist Hemanta Poudel, a reporter with the Samacharpatra daily from Kailali, a district in the far western region of Nepal on August 14, 2012.
Superintendent of Police Ghanashyam Aryal issued death threat against reporter Poudel through his confidante and accountant at District Police Office, Jay Bahadur Singh over the news Podel published in his local newspaper, Sudoor Sandesh daily, on August 12.
The news was about 'police persons taking bribes with smugglers from various check points in the district.'
Reporter Poudel is also the publisher and chief editor of the Sudoor Sandesh daily.
Talking to Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk over phone, Poudel said, "I had published in detail the news about the smuggling in collusion with police. The news was so detailed that names of police personnel with bribe amount, smugglers and checkpoints were clearly mentioned."
Following the news, Superintendent of Police Aryal initially warned journalist Poudel 'not to be over smart but act as per the time, and to be careful in reporting.'
Moreover, through his confidante Singh on August 14, he threatened Poudel that if it were the case in the eastern part of the country, Poudel would already have been finished off. Anyway, he will be killed soon, journalist Poudel said quoting Singh as SP Aryal saying.
It is a condemnable and abhorrent incident that even the persons assigned by the State for people's security turned terrorist to people.
It is a serious case of press freedom violation.
Freedom Forum therefore strongly urges the Home Ministry to investigate into the incident, mete out punishment to the police personnel including SP Aryal and provide security to journalist Poudel.