On December 16, Deputy Superintendent of Police Govind Acharya threatened two reporters of filing a case against them under the cyber crime, over the news they made on misuse of public vehicles in Taplejung, a district in the mountainous area of the eastern region in Nepal.
DSP Acharya issued such threat by phone against reporter to the ABC TV, Devraj Gurung, and Rabin Bhattarai of the Nepal Samacharpatra daily reasoning they made news about the misuse of public vehicles while going to picnic.
Talking to Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk, reporter with the ABC TV, Devraj Gurung, said DSP Acharya threatened him over the phone that he would file a case against them under the cyber crime. They had written news that the government officials in the district headquarters misused vehicles to go to picnic spot. "I and my family got mental torture due to DSP Acharya's threat," reporter Gurung said, adding that DSP Acharya however apologized after the news of his threat was disseminated.
In a separate incident in the capital city, Kathmandu, on December 17, two journalists were taken under control for two hours by the police under the direction of Additional Inspector General of Police, Ram Nath Singh.
Police arrested reporter of the Himalayan Television, Nirash Tamang, and camera person Shailendra Chaudhari, while they were making story on the health condition of a sub Inspector of police who was injured in a clash with smugglers, according to the press release issued by the Himalayan TV.
Freedom Forum condemns both of these incidents which have violated press freedom. These are serious as there is the involvement of police persons who are responsible for maintaining peace and security in the community. But they have turned hostile to the journalists breaching the latter's right to free reporting.
Therefore, they must abide by press freedom, respect journalists' right to free reporting and people's right to information which are essential to democratic culture.
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