The District Police, Kathmandu, has arrested editor of the Share Bazaar weekly, Dinesh Acharya, over a complaint lodged by an industrialist on September 30, 2013.
Industrialist Nirvan Chaudhary has accused editor Acharya of assassinating his character through internet (facebook).
Freedom Forum condemns the way Nirvan Chaudhary and the police have adopted to harass journalist. If the accusation is of the character assassination, it is not police administration to see the case because we have a separate body, Press Council Nepal, which monitors the media content and journalist's code of conduct.
Similarly, if it is the case of defamation, the industrialist Chaudhary can go the district court rather than to the police.
The arrest of editor is therefore like a treatment meted out to a criminal person which is condemnable.
Freedom Forum maintains the stand that this case must be dealt based on the news publications in the weekly paper rather than the facebook update. Publication of news is the first one to look into rather than treating it in line with the Electronic Transaction Act as police is doing now. It must be treated as civil defamation but not as a criminal defamation.
Editor Acharya had published a news story about Chaudhary in the Share Bazaar weekly on June 23 and updated in facebook too.
In a separate incident, a case has been filed against Santosh Subedi, reporter with the Gorkhapatra daily, from Siraha, a district in the southern plain of Nepal over a news story.
Mr Subedi said he had published a news story about a faulty recommendation made by Dev Kumar Yadav, district president of the federation of Nepali journalists. Yadav had recommended his wife and relatives (not journalists) as journalists to the central office of the FNJ.
Over this news, another journalist Dineshwor Prasad Gupta filed a case of defamation against Subedi at the district court of Siraha.
Freedom Forum condemns this, as it has attempted to gag the rights of a journalist to report freely.
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