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Political leaders losing Election speak foul, manhandle five journalists

Candidates from different political parties losing the recent Constituent Assembly election spoke foul on journalists at a press meet in Birgunj, a city in the southern plain of Nepal, on November 24, 2013.

According to Ashok Tiwari, Editor of the Satya Sandesh daily, published from Birgunj, there was a joint press meet organized by the political leaders who lost in the November 19 election. When a local journalist Ritesh Tripathi asked them, 'Why did people need to vote for you?', a candidate from Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party, Prem Patel, spoke foul words on all journalists at the programme.

Not only Patel but the candidates losing election from Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, Nepal Sadbhavana Party, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, Sadbhavana Party and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party manhandled five journalists at the programme reasoning they made unusual questions.

Editor Tiwari said there were 24 journalists attending the press meet.

Camera Seized Returned
In a separate incident, on the day of November 19 Constituent Assembly election, a supporter of a political candidate seized cameras from two journalists in Janakpurdham, a city in the southern plain of Nepal.

Ishwor Chandra Jha, reporter with the Himal Khabar Patrika, from Janakpurdham, said Chandra Shekhar Yadav, supporter of the Nepali Congress party, had seized the cameras from him and fellow journalist Sanjay Raut of Himalayan TV.  Mr Yadav seized the cameras while they were capturing the dispute among the leaders during vote counting. Later, Mr Yadav made an apology over the seizure and returned cameras, said reporter Jha.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident, and strongly urges the concerned political parties and leaders to respect the journalists' right to make news and people's right to information. Importantly, they must exhibit media-friendly behaviour to suit democratic culture.

For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
Email: info@freedomforum.org.np; monitoring@freedomforum.org.np