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Journalists assaulted, abused Verbally

Freedom Forum has been concerned over press freedom violations occurred in Tanahu, a western hilly district and in Pokhara, a hilly city in the western region of Nepal on 29 March 2013.

In Tanahu, Sub-Editor at the Tanahu weekly, Saroj Pokhrel, reporter to the Bhanjyang daily, Narayan Khadka, and reporter to the Damauli FM, Pratap Rana, and active women journalist Soni Khaniya were assaulted by the demonstrators protesting the death of a person in police detention.
According to a reporter at the Damauli FM, Pradeep Kaphle, the mob during the demonstration, assaulted the journalists as soon as it found them in press jackets.

A video camera belonging to Sub-Editor Pokhrel was seized by the mob.

Similarly, MB Astha, reporter with the ABC Television from Pokhara, and Gita Ranamagar, reporter to a local Golden Eye Television were verbally abused by an encroacher of public land while they were photographing the site of encroached public land for news.

"We were photographing the structures built by encroaching upon the public land. But an unknown person came and said 'we' were making news and botching up the issues. Then he attempted to seize the video camera and asked to delete the scenes," said Astha over telephone to the Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk.

Mr Astha added that the person said, "You can't make news about our huts and houses."
Freedom Forum condemns both incidents which are violative of the press freedom and journalists' profession. Also, these are against citizen's right to information. Freedom Forum urges strongly to the concerned protesters to respect press freedom and return the camera without damage.