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Journalists threatened of action, Manhandled

Freedom forum has been concerned over an incident of press freedom violation occurred in Sarlahi, a district in the southern plain of Nepal, on December 2, 2012.

Santosh Singh, reporter with the Nagarik daily from Sarlahi district was manhandled by a staff of a construction company while making news about the construction of a roadway by the company.

Talking to Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk, reporter Singh said, "I was making news story about the progress in the construction of a local Nawalpur-Malangwa roadway which was assigned to an Indian Company. I also took the photographs of the Company Office and roadway. But the project director denied information on construction activities. Rather, he asked his aide Sanjay Mandal to seize the camera."

Reporter Singh further said he was manhandled by Mandal and had the photographs deleted.
It is a sheer violation of press freedom and journalists' rights.

However, after journalist Singh complained security, the Company staffs excused.

Such incidents are unfavourable to free and fair journalism. These are responsible for compelling journalists to practice self-censorship. And the self-censorship is against independent and professional journalism.

Meanwhile, Minraj Sharma, a freelance journalist from Bardiya, a district in the southern plain of the mid-west of Nepal, has been threatened of attack by an unidentified person.

According to Chief Editor of local Bardiya Samachar weekly, Rajendra Dhital, an unknown person from undisclosed location wrote a letter to a freelance journalist Sharma saying, "Prepare Rs 500,000 for me within few days. I'm watching your family closely. If not prepared, your family will be attacked."

However, Freedom Forum is yet to establish the fact whether it is related to his writing and a case of freedom of expression. Therefore, monitoring would be continued.
The incident has obviously terrified journalist Sharma.

Therefore, Freedom Forum urges the concerned administration to look in to the case and prevent possible attack on journalist.